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Book launch.

  • Event
  • Aug 25 2022 | 6:00 PM h - 12:00 AM h

We live in a moment in which institutions, including those central to the art world, are facing a surge of public scrutiny. Propelled by social media, profound questions about how institutions operate—whether structurally, politically, or financially—have become an increasingly prominent part of public life and discourse in recent years.

In this context, The Art of Critique revisits the artistic practice of institutional critique to ask what it means today, and to consider its ability to respond to the urgent social, political, and economic issues of our time. Taking works by Tracey Emin, Andrea Fraser, and Sarah Lucas in the collection of the Frans Hals Museum as a departure point, The Art of Critique uses a feminist approach to broaden and challenge traditional art historical definitions of institutional critique. These expanded forms of critique function as precursors to the practices of the contemporary artists presented as part of this project. Collectively, the contemporary works shed a new light on the legacy of institutional critique while addressing structural issues as wide-ranging as labor practices in the creative industry, city development, gender inequality, and the intertwined histories of capitalism and colonialism.

The publication documents the long-term project at the Frans Hals Museum (2019–22) under directorship of Ann Demeester and based on a concept by Melanie Bühler—a symposium, Color Critique (chapter one); an exhibition, Image Power (chapter two: Image Critique); and artist commissions (chapter three: Structure Critique)—together with artworks, conversations, and newly commissioned and translated essays.

Edited by Melanie Bühler.

Commissioned by Ann Demeester.

With contributions by Marie Angeletti, Karen Archey, Ute Meta Bauer, Melanie Bühler, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Harry Burke, Ann Demeester, Clémence Lollia Hilaire, Frima Fox Hofrichter, Andrea Fraser, Simon Fujiwara, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Alex Kitnick, Lynne Kouassi, Erik van Lieshout, Lloyd Corporation, Sven Lütticken, Daniel Morgenthaler, Marlie Mul, Becket MWN, Grace Ndiritu, D’Ette Nogle, Ahmet Öğüt, Ima-Abasi Okon, Monilola Olayemi Ilupeju, María Inés Plaza Lazo, Bea Schlingelhoff, Hito Steyerl, Juan Uribe, Dena Yago.

Designed by Sabo Day.

Co-published by Frans Hals Museum and Lenz Press.

The publication was generously supported by Outset Contemporary Art Funds Netherlands and VriendenLoterij. 

Softcover, 288 pages, 21 x 29.7 cm
ISBN 979-12-80579-10-2

The publication can be purchased through Lenz Press.

Book launch events

Sunday, July 3
San Serriffe, Sint Annenstraat 30, Amsterdam
With Melanie Bühler, Lloyd Corporation, Ann Demeester and Becket MWN, starting at 4.30pm

Thursday, August 25
CCA Berlin—Center for Contemporary Arts, Kurfürstenstraße 145, Berlin
With Melanie Bühler, Harry Burke, Simon Fujiwara, Ahmet Öğüt and Monilola Olayemi Ilupeju moderated by Edwin Nasr

Doors open at 6pm, program starts at 6:30pm

Wednesday, September 28
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, Zürich
With a.o. Melanie Bühler, Ann Demeester, Raphael Gygax, Bea Schlingelhoff, Judith Welter, Maja Wismer, starting at 6pm



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