Experimental Institutionalism: Employment

Wed 4 Aug 2021

This is a past program.
Video and Podcast

Employment: Art, labour and changing modes of working

Speakers: Julieta Aranda and Alana Kushnir

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This program is part of ACCA’s 2021 Lecture Series, Experimental Institutionalism: Contemporary Art and Curatorial Ecologies, which delves into the artistic, curatorial, organisational and institutional models in which artists, curators and producers reflect and shape the role of contemporary art practice.

This series has been developed in response to the significant impacts on practice, movement, cultural production, display and community gathering in 2020, and reflects a desire to strengthen and retain international connections in the face of radical limitations on travel, movement and collaboration.

Engaging local and international experts, this series touches on the changing roles of artists, curators, writers, funders, educators and institutions, as they intersect with wider global economic, technological, environmental and political contexts.

On Collaboration, Labour and Scaling-Up the Artist’s Studio
Lecture by Alana Kushnir

The contemporary art ecology is experiencing a significant shift in working practices. This has been prompted by the rapid advancement of technology and the reduction of traditional streams of revenue. Both artist and art institution are therefore increasingly relying on collaborative, cross-disciplinary modes of working. 

The future of these modes of working depends upon a solid legal structure. With a solid legal structure, the future art-work can be better built. But what does a solid legal structure look like? And how can we use it to empower both artist and art institution? Matters of ownership, licensing, crediting and remuneration should all be considered as part of this structural mix. This lecture will explore these ideas as part of a broader interest in the transition of artist from employee to entrepreneur. 

Alana Kushnir an art lawyer, curator, art advisor and Director and Founder of Guestwork Agency based in Melbourne, Australia. She is the Principal Investigator of the Serpentine Galleries R&D Platform Legal Lab and a sessional lecturer at The University of Melbourne, teaching subjects on curating, contemporary art and art law. She is also a regular writer on art news and exhibition reviews for Broadsheet Media, a Director of the Lyon Foundation, which operates the Lyon Housemuseum & Galleries, and a volunteer lawyer with the Arts Law Centre of Australia. Alana was previously the General Counsel and Cultural Program Executive for the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival. Prior to this, she worked at one of Australia’s leading commercial law firms, King & Wood Mallesons. She holds a Masters of Fine Art (Curating) from Goldsmiths, University of London, a Bachelor of Arts (Art History) (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from The University of Melbourne. She is a former Board Member of Invisible Inc, which produces Runway, an independent Australian experimental art journal and Bus Projects, Melbourne.

We Made Such a Mess!
Lecture by Julieta Aranda

In this presentation Julieta Aranda examines our relationship – as beings, as humans, as artists, as cultural workers – to the toxic environments that we have created. How can we negotiate life flourishing in the poisoned landscapes of industrial capitalism?

As we focus on planetary ecological concerns as subject matter for artistic production, we need to also make sure to produce the ecologies that we need for the art world to be a viable, liveable system. What I am trying to say here is, that to be able to produce sustainable futures, we need to firstly produce sustainable presents. And, looking at the presents in which we are living without retreating into nostalgic imaginaries, what kind of formulations of hope that can we offer to them? 

Julieta Aranda is an artist and co-director of the online platform e-flux. Her artistic practice spans installation, video, and print media, with a special interest in the creation and manipulation of artistic exchange and the subversion of traditional notions of commerce through art making. Central to Aranda’s practice are her involvement with circulation mechanisms and the idea of a “poetics of circulation”; her interest in science fiction, space travel and zones of friction; the possibility of a politicized subjectivity through the perception and use of time, and the notion of power over the imaginary. As a co-director of the online platform e-flux together with Anton Vidokle, Aranda has developed the projects Time/Bank, Pawnshop, and e-flux video rental, all of which started in the e-flux storefront in New York. In addition to the Guggenheim Museum, Aranda’s work has been exhibited internationally, in venues such as the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014), Witte de With (2013 and 2010), Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genova (2013), ArtPostions, Miami Basel (2012), MACRO Roma (2012) Documenta 13 (2012), N.B.K. (2012), Gwangju Biennial (2012), Venice Biennial (2011), Istanbul Biennial (2011), Portikus, Frankfurt (2011), New Museum NY (2010), Kunstverein Arnsberg (2010), MOCA Miami (2009), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2007), 2nd Moscow Biennial (2007) MUSAC, Spain (2010 and 2006), and VII Havanna Biennial; amongst many others. Aranda’s work has been selected for several international biennials including the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 and is included in important museum collections such as: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, New York, USA; MUSAC – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain; Fundación/Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico; CIFO – Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, USA.