Deiana, Micaela (2016) Pratiche curatoriali sperimentali dell'ultimo ventennio. L'esperienza del nuovo istituzionalismo. Doctoral Thesis.
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New Institutionalism refers to a series of curatorial practices focused on an idea of
contemporary art institution reshaped after Modernist and Postmodernist perspectives,
investigating a system of production-display-consumption of culture.
Developed at the end of the 1990s in North Europe, it had an historical phase ending in
the middle of the 2000s, but its influence is still ongoing in contemporary curatorial
The research analyses the relationship between this phenomenon and artistic practices,
and proposes a curatorial canon of that phenomenon through a selection of its most
innovative museographic strategies.
In the first part, this thesis draws attention to the main features of New Institutionalism,
identified in the attitude of criticality and performativity, both deriving from the legacy of
Institutional Critique and Relational Aesthetics.
In the second part, it outlines a grammar of exhibition format, through the projects
experimented by Charles Esche, Maria Lind and Manuel Borja-Villel. Suggesting a
selection of the pivotal exhibition projects, it highlights new possibilities for
monographic, archivist, group shows and innovative approach in presenting museum
The aim is to demonstrate how New Institutionalism represents an important experience
in analysing the most experimental curatorial practices in the last twenty years and how
this kind of studies contribute to deeply understand the relationship between art and
museum in the 21st century.
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