press release

UNFINISHED BUSINESS looks at contemporary interpretations of what, within the field of contemporary art, is historically defined as 'institutional critique'. The first wave of institutional critique from 1970’s aimed to question the authoritarian role of cultural institutions within the framework of the nation state (museums, galleries, and the art system in general), as well as their impact, both material and symbolic, on production, interpretation and distribution of art.

In the last three decades, following the process of globalisation and the establishment of neo-liberalism as dominant ideological and political paradigm, a significant shift has occurred, not only in the way in which institutions function but also in how they relate to the critique of their essentially hegemonistic discourse. In the situation of the all-pervasive market economy, they become more flexible and ready to incorporate what until recently was considered subversive or antagonistic towards the very idea of an institutional order. In this way, through gradual integration of its critical energy, the ‘institutional critique’ becomes itself institutionalised and a new form of institution established – an institution of critique.

Is it still possible today to hold a neutral position, ‘outside’ of the established institutional order? Can one act from the ‘inside’, from within the art system, and yet retain his/her own criticality? The artists featured in UNIFNISHED BUSINESS address these issues in their practice. Venturing beyond the false dichotomy of the ‘inside’ vs. ‘outside’, they expand the terms of discussion by permeating the discourse of art and its institutions with other disciplines and discourses. They develop a variety of strategies – from detailed investigations into new forms of cultural industry to temporary interventions in the private or public spaces – to point to contradictions embedded in the processes described above and the complexities of their own position as contemporary artists. All artists employ elements of humour and irony in their work and examine, more specifically, the relation between art and business i.e. the nature of art as business and business as art.

The exhibition features works in video, slide projection, painting, photography, etchings and sculpture, video installation and spatial installation by Alex Bag (USA), Adam Chodzko (1965, UK), Chris Evans (1967, UK), Matthieu Laurette (1970, France) and Carey Young (1970, UK), and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.


Ort: Salon of Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrad
Kurator: Sinisa Mitrovic

mit Alex Bag, Adam Chodzko, Chris Evans, Matthieu Laurette, Carey Young