NEARLY FORTY YEARS AFTER THEIR FIRST APPEARANCE, the practices now associated with “institutional critique” have for many come to seem, well, institutionalized. Last spring alone, Daniel Buren returned with a major installation to the Guggenheim Museum (which famously censored both his and Hans Haacke’s work in 1971); Buren and Olafur Eliasson discussed the problem of “the institution” in these pages; and the LA County Museum of Art hosted a conference called “Institutional Critique and After.” More symposia planned for the Getty and the College Art Association’s annual conference, along with a special issue of Texte zur Kunst, may very well see the further reduction of institutional critique to its acronym: IC. Ick.
In the context of museum exhibitions and art- history symposia such as these, one increasingly finds institutional critique accorded the unquestioning respect often granted
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