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Chus Martínez. Indirect Action: a reflection on how to re-socialize an art institution or trying to explain my last year in the Frankfurt
18.00 Monday 12 February
The Contemporary Art Centre is pleased to launch the third year of CAC Café Talk’s, Vilnius’ premier international lecture event. Presented once monthly the CAC Café Talk’s are a social forum for the discussion of topical international issues in culture, economics, and politics impacting upon the production, exhibition, and reception of contemporary art. Presenting a range of cultural producers — from artists to architects, filmmakers to dance-club theorists — in a social setting, the Café Talks are the perfect chance to sit with a drink and discuss the expanded field of contemporary culture that current art operates in.

The source of noise:
One of the problems we are currently facing is the ‘break’ of the contract between the viewer and the art institution. It seems that the idyll can only be re-established if: a) we renew some fantasies about the past and the genre of traditional exhibition making (a return of the desire to place things ‘inside’ History); or b) we provide elaborate shock and shock-absorbing mechanisms to nourish the everlasting modernist take on the notion of the ‘bewildered’ viewer who is — a visitor to a new world.

The listening device:
Entropy can be an answer. Following the aftermath of Modernism, many institutions try all kinds of sophisticated methods to re-establish the historically assumed confidence between viewer and the museum/art institution. One argument for my not accepting this account is that it seems to me that the notion of the ‘audience/viewer’ recalls a form of social representation as well as a specific narrative apparatus that has radically changed. A change difficult to grasp, understand and cope with from the point of all the players involved. ‘We’ – our political class, the social lobbies conforming our boards and our mediators, the press – are reluctant to accept a new social function for the art institution as well as the new responsibilities involved in the task of finding new analogies that will help to construct a common ground between producers, makers and visitors.
The news isn’t all bad, though. And artists can also be the answer...

Chus Martínez (b. 1972 Spain) is director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein. Previously she was the artistic director of Sala Rekalde (Bilbao) 2002–2005, prior to which and before she curated an exhibition series on the notion of the future of the art institution in Fundación 'La Caixa' Barcelona (2001-2002).
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