Photo: Felix Grünschloss
Where can institutions position themselves between the forces of internationalisation and local responsibility? What kinds of public spheres do institutions generate? What social functions do they embody? What forms of knowledge do they create and share? What general processes of changes do they engage in? And what processes of social change can we initiate through them? With these questions as a starting point, ‘The Institution’ uses performative experimental set-ups to play with different definitions of what an institution can be. It also investigates the Andersmöglichkeit of institutions, that is, their possibility to be different. And, finally, it also explores potential updates of the institutional form.
‘The Institution’ has existed as an online archive, label, infrastructure and far-reaching art project since 2012. The project seeks to develop formats that are situated somewhere between everyday life and theatre stage, between art and science, and between laboratory and home. ‘The Institution’ is also the title of an eleven-day durational performance held in 2013 and, as such, itself comprises part of the project series of the same name. It began with the presentation of ‘The Play’ in 2012. After that came the durational performance ‘The Institution’, followed by stage productions titled ‘The Performance’ (2013) and ‘The Audience’ (2015). This was followed by an obstacle course of theatre installations called ‘The Theatre’, which was set up in a small village called Michelbach an der Lücke in the state of Baden-Württemberg (2015–2017) and documented in an extensive publication. ‘Vorgestellte Institutionen / Performing Institutions’ was published as a workbook comprising of workshop discussions called ‘Performing Institutions’, which were originally realised as components of ‘The Institution’, for example as part of the durational performance. The project series was conceptualized as having no fixed time limit and is continuously being expanded upon.