[NetBehaviour] Crisis at the ICA: Ekow Eshun¹s Experiment in Deinstitutionalisation

Jim Andrews jim at vispo.com
Thu Feb 11 14:24:26 CET 2010

the article takes the ica and, more particularly, eshun to task. but what 
makes the article interesting to outsiders such as myself is not what it has 
to say that's utterly particular to the ica or eshun, but how it tells a 
story that is ongoing around the world.

for instance, is the solution to the problem to get somebody else running 
the ica, like an artist? not just to recover financially, but to bring back 
the 'artist run' nature of the place. or are those institutions simply 
doomed to the sort of empty pretensions of late capitalism, wherein there 
just is no place for the cultures of art as we have known them no matter how 
you cut it?

the ica is hardly the only art institution in which the director is more 
important than the art or artists. even in net art, which has 0 recognition 
in the art world, the few gallery curators and other non-artists, ie, with 
positions of some 'power' to show work to 5 people, are presumed to have 
much more importance to net art than they actually have.

and look at the shows of steve dietz. the quality of the art itself was 
irrelevant to him also. he was producing concept shows, not showing the 
quality work of individuals. the quality of the individual works in his 
shows was not the important thing. the important thing was that the show was 
curated by dietz with a concept. the actual art was often quite poor.

and, boy, do i feel stupid sending a link to gompertz. the quality of the 
work is utterly irrelevant to him too. it isn't the quality of the work that 
makes art important, in his book, but the nature of the corporate and 
institutional promotion and valorization.

in all this, although net art has almost 0 recognition in the art world or 
literary world, it can be an interesting and progressive force in the world 
because the means of production and dissemination are not so dominated and 


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