From: Institution for the Future, co-edited by Biljana Ciric and Sally Lai, published by Chinese Arts Centre华人艺术中心, 2012
撰文/Dorothea Von Hantelmann
Institutional Thoughts To be Sung with Feeling
Since the question on the table is historical and temporal in nature –
The future being thinkable as rejection and/or redemption (nurture)
Of the past and present (as these are known by the current culture) –
Let us consider the timing of the so-called institution for the future,
And by timing I mean how it shapes our daily rhythms and rhymes.
In the recent past, we’ve had “universal survey” and “modern” museums
Followed by the galleries or centres for “contemporary art”. And it seems
That even the alternatives – like commercial ventures and artist-run spaces,
regardless of the faces they may put on – tend to obey a model that deems
Temporary exhibitions, switched a few times annually, to be kings or queens.
To develop the debate about the institution for the future, we should therefore
Consider what kind of a calendar such an institution could keep – when doors
Would open and when people would meet. When there are solid ideas in store?
Or still on a regular basis, like church or the farmers market or at quarter to four,
Each day, or week, or month or year or two years or five years or more…?
Some venture to say that some day, we won’t have shows, that being together
Periodically, and discussing or debating alternatives can occupy us forever.
But gathering to see things collectively, allowing what appears to bind or sever,
Is a public practice without which art is rather impoverished. This robbing of her
Or his or its (of art’s) ritual function should never be allowed to pass. However,
The invention of ritual has, if anything, stagnated or become a bit of a bore.
Perennial exhibitions (biennials, triennials) have attempted to enliven the practice,
Going far to vary the type of experience, its spatial dimension, its hours of access.
But they remain too regular and regulated to assert that the ritual is not there to bless
Or consecrate or create gods, but to enrich human society (which has less and less).
For the rest we might have to consult that half human/half beast in the desert.