Citation / Annotation:
Copeland, Mathieu, and Balthazar Lovay, eds. The Anti-Museum. Fribourg: Fri Art; London: Koenig, 2017.
Published to accompany the exhibition A Retrospective of Closed Exhibitions at Fri Art, Kunsthalle Fribourg, Switzerland, The Anti-Museum is both a retrospective of museum/gallery closures and non-presentations of work as works/exhibitions, and a consideration of these gestures in the present moment, characterized by both “opulence and . . . self-imposed—or imposed—austerity,” in which the meaning of these closures, which served to critique the institutions of art—gallery/museum system, university, commodity function of the work of art, etc.—now must be considered in relation to closures of museums, ministries of culture, and national borders alike (not yet mentioned in this book but roughly coincident with it, we can add the Brexit fiasco and the last US presidential election to the growing list) as politics abandons culture and both politics and culture increasingly lose credibility.
The nearly 800-page collection includes many familiar projects and many others that I was unaware of, including two projects by Maria Eichorn, in which the gallery was closed by virtue of the employees “withdraw[ing] their labour” for the duration of the exhibition, measured in weeks, days, and hours (175 = five thirty-five-hour weeks), and another—of particular interest to me in light of recent discussions about “beautifying the space” as an installation strategy (Angus)—in which Eichorn applied the exhibition budget to building renovations, showing no work in the space (37).
Kennedy, Garry Neill. The Last Art College. Halifax: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press, 2012.