• Jiří Skála, Exchange of Handwriting, 2006–10, installation view, Art in General, NYC.

    The Other Tradition

    WIELS Contemporary Art Centre
    Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
    June 20–May 1

    Curated by Elena Filipovic

    Art history is built from the lagan of competing traditions. Filipovic’s polemical group show, which borrows its title, “The Other Tradition,” from Gene Swenson’s 1966 curatorial gambit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, congeals an artmaking attitude that privileges live events and “constructed situations” over objects. Here’s the crux: Does the badass definite article in the title do the work of felling a singular, principal straw man, “Tradition”? And by now, after his relative commercial success and Guggenheim coup d’état, is it a stretch to position Tino Sehgal, one of a dozen artists in the show, as outside a dominant paradigm? That said, it’s hard not to get jazzed over an exhibition that features an artist, Pilvi Takala, whose “interventions” include not doing any work while at work and calling it art. Chow time for the dialectic.