Institution as Fiction

A workshop with Beirut for the Steirischer Herbst Festival in Graz, Austria.

To exist within fast altering economic, political and social realities, (art) institutions have to think themselves as works in movement, as open works, in a constant effort of re-imagining what they could, or should, be in their time. To stay relevant and responsive, institutions cannot afford to be hemmed in by normative conceptions of what an institution really is, or has to be. Should institutions then be indeterminate nowadays, or in other words perceptively ambiguous? How do institutions perform themselves in relation to art works, artists, publics, funders, governments, places and questions? Can an institution learn from artwork? Can it actually be an artwork?

In Graz, Beirut will host a workshop engaging some of these questions, through a series of collective exercises, towards reconceiving the institution as a fictitious entity and everything it entails from its economy, sustenance, visual identity to its network, resources and language, symbolic and real. The aim of this workshop is to think beyond preconceived, accepted and practiced models of institutional founding, and exploring new charters for (art) institutions to become.