Institutional Attitudes in Brussels


The Comité van Roosendaal is proud to announce its first public activity, the two-day conference Institutional Attitudes to take place on 24 and 25 April in de Beursschouwburg in Brussels, coinciding with Art Brussels.

With Zdenka Badovinac, Bart De Baere, Miroslaw Balka, Bassam El Baroni, Manu Claeys, Ann Demeester, Charles Esche, Alex Farquharson, Anselm Franke, Pascal Gielen, Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, Marc Jacobs, Nataša Ilić, Marta Kuzma, Maurizio Lazzarato, Dieter Lesage, Vanessa Joan Müller, Julia Moritz, Dieter Roelstraete, Irit Rogoff, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Simon Sheikh, Trevor Smith, Dirk Snauwaert, Frans Timmermans and Michael Turner.

Institutional Attitudes looks at a founding premise of the Comité van Roosendaal: the shared conviction that contemporary art institutions may be an important voice in society. Within this premise, key questions include: What kind of contemporary society must be envisioned, given the recent economic crisis and the ecological state of emergency? How can existing art institutions adjust to these paradigm shifts? In full confidence that institutions are not only products of their society, but also constitute active agents capable of shaping society in return, what novel public potential exists for the art institution? These research questions are stimulated by recent proposals engaging with notions of commons and of the commonwealth, such as Italian philosopher Paolo Virno's call to consider a non-representative democracy that might be expressed through 'a galaxy of foundations, a network of institutes.'

The Comité van Roosendaal has invited a range of esteemed art professionals and academics, as well as public figures from outside the art world, to critically evaluate recent events and sketch scenarios for the near future and beyond, in a program of three chapters.

Chapter 1: Institutional Domains
Institutional Domains takes stock of existing institutions, considering their status both as material or physical entities and as immaterial bodies of authority. Practices such as new institutionalism, institutional creativity and experimental institutionalism emphasize a shift from the material to the immaterial institution. What does this mean for the current decade? Keynote lecture by Alex Farquharson

Chapter 2: Beyond Criticality
Beyond Criticality assesses the limits of practices posited on performative and ongoing acts of self-reflection. The notion of criticality has had great resonance for various forms of experimental institutional practice. The impetus of this chapter is to consider the historicity of the term, its manifold readings, and a vision for it to continuously activate places, projects and artists. Keynote lecture by Irit Rogoff

Chapter 3: Dismeasurement and Public Responsibility
Dismeasurement and Public Responsibility puts the notion of values up front and underlines the urgency of the conference. If the current crises are to be understood as social constructs instigated by a logic of production and exponential growth, is there a new unit of measure that may be imagined in reference to intellectual labor? And what institutional structures are needed as engines of social transition? Keynote lecture by Maurizio Lazzarato

Full program can be found on our website.

Practical information

Language: All talks will be held in English, with the exception of the lecture by Maurizio Lazzarato, which will be given in French with English subtitles.

Tickets: €25 (€20 for students). Reservations are made through [email protected]. Bookings are exclusively managed by the Comité van Roosendaal. Only ticket holders that have paid in advance will be guaranteed a seat.

Follow us online:
Please see our website for program updates and news. Institutional Attitudes will also be documented for later reference. The website will include video and audio recordings of the public program and additional text material.

Institutional Attitudes is developed by de Appel, M HKA and Witte de With for the Comité van Roosendaal and in collaboration with de Beursschouwburg, deBuren, FARO and Research Group Arts in Society, with support of the Dutch Embassy in Brussels, European Cultural Foundation, Mondriaan Foundation and Triodos Fund.