Experimental Institutionalism: Exchange with Nikos Papastergiadis and Laura Raicovich

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

Our first lecture ‘Exchange: Reciprocity and institutional collaboration’ features Nikos Papastergiadis and Laura Raicovich presenting a short lecture each, followed by a discussion with ACCA’s Artistic Director and CEO Max Delany.

‘On the Museums of the Commons’ Lecture by Nikos Papastergiadis

Museums of the Commons is a recent 2020 publication by Papastergiadis that examines L’Internationale, an ongoing confederation between six museums and contemporary art institutions in Europe. Chronicling the challenges faced by the museums, Papastergiadis goes on to situate their responses within the wider political and cultural context that is shaping the future of all contemporary art museums. Five key domains of research are explored within the book: the genealogy of the museum; the need for alternative models of trans- institutional governance; examples of innovation in the spaces of aesthetic production; experimentation in the forms of partnership and engagement with constituents; and finally, examination of the impact of a collaborative and collective regime of artistic practices. Museums of the Commons provides a multi- perspectival account of a trans-institutional and transnational collaboration.

‘On Interconnection, Culture, and Care’ Lecture by Laura Raicovich

The activism of 2020 was a bright call for liberation. Indeed, this is the first moment in my lifetime when I feel there is truly an opportunity to make the radical change our society so desperately needs. Can it lead to an excising of the beliefs and behaviours that are poison to a culture that is killing itself by perpetrating such egregious harm?  Can society recover from the delirium of individualism to recognize the fundamental interconnectivity of humanity? Can cultural spaces be undone and redone to accommodate and support this transformation, and even provide models for its manifestation in society at large? Through an examination of recent transnational events and their impact on perceptions of what is possible, I will consider how we might use cultural spaces as sites of societal transformation and civic life. Discussions of the myth of institutional neutrality as a gatekeeping device that supports the status quo, alongside unpacking protest and unionization efforts as acts of radical care, point to specific ideas and suggestions towards moving forward collectively and more equitably.

Production by Gatherer Media.