the mousetrap book

The Mousetrap Book

Book launch at Platform Garanti, Istiklal Cad. no.136, 34430, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey

September 7th, 4-6 pm

The Mousetrap Book: On dealing with institutions in contemporary curatorial practice is a book with the proceeding from the conference under the same title at Wyspa Institute of Art in Gdansk  in October 15-16 2005 in collaboration with Buro Kopernicus in Berlin.

The project was conceived and curated by Aneta Szylak and Andrzej Szczerski.

Mousetrap Authors: Barnabas Bencsik, Sebastian Cichocki, Hedwig Fijen, Maria Hussakowska, Maria Lind & Nina Montman, Dorota Monkiewicz, Vanessa Joan Muller, Barbara Steiner, Andrzej Szczerski, Aneta Szylak, Thomas Wulffen.


The term “Mousetrap” in this context is being used in conjunction with Rube Goldberg’s machine project, which influenced the imagination of many, starting from artists and ending with computer game creators. The very idea of big and funny machinery that accomplishes little appears to be a good metaphor for the ambivalence with which the art institution is being seen today.

The entrapment of the artists or the curator, and sometimes even the artwork, in the context of a complicated and structured institutional engine is more than a shared conviction. It is a commonplace. But there is a treat inside the trap that makes it also alluring and attractive. The questions we are asking concern the position of the curator working within the institutional structure and outside it. How can one overcome the obstacles of institutionalization? Are there any subversive strategies that allow the independent curator to collaborate with such a structure? What about an independent becoming a part or even the head of an institution? How can the artists circumnavigate the boundaries of an institutional framework? And what about new concepts and examples of institutions, anti-institutions or quasi-institutions?

There is a good portion of new and innovative projects or older institutions getting a refreshed image in the reaction to the collapsing institutional décor. Regardless of that, the availability of funding for spectacular institutional projects puts art professionals into the game between fulfilling public expectations and realizing individualistic ideas. Focusing on this cultural phenomenon, “The Mousetrap” brings together curators working within and outside these structures, as well as art theorists and historians. Many of them share their expertise between the fields of theory and practice. The intention of the conference is to give an insight into today’s reflections and practices in encounters with institutions.

English proof-reading: Tadeusz Z.Wolanski

Graphic Design: Adam Chylinski

Cover illustration: Grzegorz Klaman, I hate this system, 2005, the project for Mousetrap Conference.

Lining illustration: Twozywo

Printing: Grafix Centrum Poligrafii

Publishers:
Wyspa Institute of Art/Wyspa Progress Foundation
www.wyspa.art.pl

Revolver, Archiv fur aktuelle Kunst Bethmannstrasse 13
www.revolver-books.de

Collaboration and financial support: Buero Kopernicus

ISBN: 978-83-924665-1-2
Price 15 Euro plus shipment costs. Please send your purchase inquiries to Roma Piotrowska roma.piotrowska@wyspa.art.pl
 

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