Is an art institution only an imagined entity—a temporary constellation of agreements, negotiations, and arrangements—or is it something more fixed? In this publication, reflections on the role and value of the contemporary art institution are advanced in some revelatory contributions by international artists, curators, art historians, and gallery directors, each of whom share ideas, models, and visions for alternate approaches.
Imaginary Accord both documents and reinvigorates the fortieth anniversary activities of Australia’s oldest independent public gallery, the Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane. A series of creative and critical projects explored the gallery’s historical mission, while imagining what the founding principles of a contemporary art institution could mean today and for the future. Bringing together the findings of a year of inquiry, this publication includes new contributions that sit aside talks originally presented at the IMA as part of a nine-part lecture series and two-day symposium, What Can Art Institutions Do?, which have been reformulated for this volume.
Contributions by Agency, Vernon Ah Kee, Anne Barlow, Sean Dockray, Charles Esche, Helen Hughes, Marysia Lewandowska, Maria Lind, Ian McLean, Courtney Pedersen, Raqs Media Collective, Terry Smith, and Ann Stephen. Edited by Aileen Burns, Madeleine King, and Johan Lundh.
Sean Dockray is a Melbourne-based artist, PhD candidate at the Victorian College of the Arts, founding director of Telic Arts Exchange in Los Angeles and initiator of the autonomous, self-organized pedagogical projects The Public School and AAAARG.ORG. Sean was recently a fellow at Leuphana University’s Post-Media Lab and an artist in residence at the Free Radical Centre at the University of Melbourne.
Dr. Helen Hughes co-founded and co-edits the Melbourne contemporary art journal, Discipline, is a co-editor of the peer-reviewed art history journal, EMAJ, and is Research Curator at Monash University Museum of Art.