Featuring artists: Alberto Aguilar, Brit Barton, Mara Baker, Kevin Blake, Zippora Elders, Rami George, David Hall, Kuras and MacKenzie, Josh Rios and Anthony Romero, Michal Samana, Naqeeb Stevens, Tina Tahir, Anna Martine Whitehead; writers: Lise Haller Baggesen, Daniel Borzutzky, Isaiah Dufort, Patrick Durgin, Tricia Van Eck, Every house has a door, Jane Lewty, Jill Magi, Nam Chi Nguyễn, Rowland Saifi, Suzanne Scanlon, Mia You and Maarten van der Graaf with Fiep van Bodegom and Obe Alkema; & curators: David Ayala-Alfonso, Britton Bertran, Rashayla Marie Brown,Every house has a door, Lucia Fabio, João Florêncio, Stevie Greco, Jeanine Hofland,Renan Laru-an, La Keisha Leek, Sofia Lemos and Vincent van Velsen. Online Exhibition Design: Pouya Ahmadi.
Based on an exhibit curated by Caroline Picard and Lara Schoorl, Institutional Garbage presents the administrative residue of imaginary public institutions produced by artists, writers, and curators. This residue includes but is not limited to contracts, email correspondences, documented unproductivity, syllabi, scanned objects, and obstacle courses; collecting such fragments in one place, Institutional Garbage illustrates the backend activities of imaginary bureaucracies in an effort to trace the private life of institutional endeavors. What comes to the fore is not a cohesive, singular agenda, but instead a cross-section of often misfired objects that, once assembled, try to tease out new strategies for community arts production, education, sustainability, and value assessment. Institutional Garbage resulted from a 2014 invitation from RISD students posed to the Green Lantern Press during the Hyde Park Art Center’s 75th anniversary. Both the online exhibition and the publication were designed by Pouya Ahmadi.
Praise for Institutional Garbage (the book):
“Close your eyes. Or rather, imagine your eyes are closed as you read this blurb. Now envision a dump—the dump in your hometown, say. Only it’s not full of refrigerators and tires. It’s full of ideas and all of the pictures from your utopic vacation to an island last summer that were lost when your phone disappeared on a trip home over the winter. But the dump is leaking. Leachate pools on the data mound’s perimeter. Ah. But the photos have been subtly rearranged by their fermentation: that is indeed you sitting there on the motorcycle, just like last summer, but … also something different. And that is you, holding this book, but … also, something else.” —G.E. Gerridae
“We recognize the presence of lifeforms in the trails they leave behind. The institution, a structure that forms when human agents act in tandem, produces and is a repository for waste. In this sense, the institution calls blurbs into being. No one reads blurbs, yet they must be written. Authors hate blurbs and condemn them to the back cover, where they can only be seen if the viewer grabs the book by its spine and ogles its backside. Readers skim them witt scatalogical discernment, looking for signs of decay or the remnants of a healthy organism. Blurbs disappoint us in ways we expect and, following this dictum, we make them disappointing. We don’t want our shit to smell good for other people, after all.” —Evan Kleekamp