Desiring Institutions

A panel discussion, with Binna Choi, Ala Younis, and Maha Maamoun, moderated by Charles Esche. Courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation.

Desiring Institutions Image


What is at the heart of the desire to institute or organise around common objectives and shared infrastructure –
pragmatics or ideology? Can the current understanding of the art world give emphasis to both institutional experiments and analysis of the protocols around art’s display and distribution beyond the public exhibition? While public institutions compete for the attention of government, media and sponsor-collectors, some are arguably producing similar activities in their different locations. To what extent is this situation sustainable in a future where government and private funding is shrinking? What institutional innovation is being currently tested or imagined here? When institutional conditions are precarious and difficult to sustain, how inventive can contemporary art communities be? To what extent are their inventions institutional trajectories? Do we desire our institutions for security or experimentation? Can institutions learn from one another, or are local specifics too determining to make the practice of one institution useful for an institution elsewhere? The panel sets out to discuss these conditions and relations at the present moment, using concrete examples from the projects established and/or run by the speakers.

Video of Desiring Institutions

Part 1

Video of Desiring Institutions

Part 2

Video of Desiring Institutions

Part 3