February 27, 2017

Commemorating ten years

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Stephen Willats, Human Right, 2017. Production still with homeostat diagram. © the artist.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, founded by the Middlesbrough Council in 2007 and now part of Teesside University, is moving forward with a vision of itself as a “useful museum,” or “museum 3.0,” under the directorship of Alistair Hudson and with programming by Miguel Amado and Elinor Morgan. It is an institution with a social function that repurposes art as a tool for change. It focuses on public engagement, establishing the gallery as a civic site based on use value, with the actions of its users and constituent groups defining its meaning.

Community Day
The free, weekly Community Day consists of activities and events complemented by a communal lunch. It brings together people of all ages, ethnicities, classes, and nationalities who would never otherwise meet to share food, interact with one another, and collectively learn through making.

Middlesbrough Collection
The Middlesbrough Collection’s first permanent presentation features a range of works in multiple media—including drawing, ceramics, video, and jewelry—by British and international artists from the 19th century to today. Highlights include pieces by Babi Badalov, Sonia Boyce, Robert Breer, Andreas Gursky, Otto Künzli, Magdalene Odundo, Cornelia Parker, Nancy Spero, Edmund de Waal, and Ishmael Randall Weeks. The exhibition’s content is shaped through a continuous dialogue between staff and audiences, and the display mixes references to the 19th century, from French salon-style hanging to the interior design of English country houses.

March 4–June 4:
ABCs of Racist Europe, Daniela Ortiz 
Daniela Ortiz addresses relationships among nationality, race, coloniality, and class. In recent projects she draws on her own experience as an immigrant to interrogate the European migratory control system, particularly focusing on border control and citizenship. This exhibition, based on collaborations between Ortiz and Middlesbrough-based asylum seekers, explores themes of racism and colonialism to challenge perceptions around migration.

Geofictions, Matterlurgy
Matterlurgy explores the ecosystem of South Gare, the location of the now-closed Tees Valley steelworks, through site visits and workshops. This exhibition features artifacts—from stones to discarded plastic items—gathered there as well as documentation related to this territory. These materials are part of a future fossil record, and suggest a geological stratum in which nature and technology are combined.

Human Right, Stephen Willats
Stephen Willats examines connections between personal narratives and social conditions through themes of housing, class, work conditions, and power relations. In 1997 he collaborated with the Middlesbrough Art Gallery on a project associating different organizations in the town, from the library to the mosque. This exhibition revisits that project through a new commission in which Willats collaborated with local community builders, and features various works from the 1970s to the present day that investigate issues of contemporaneity.

Where We Are Now, Kellenberger-White
Kellenberger-White is redesigning the institution’s brand throughout 2017. The project includes seasonal exhibitions, the first of which is this one, which features archival materials, samples of their own productions, and printed matter drawn from workshops and consultation sessions.

Also at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art:
Office of Useful Art
The Office of Useful Art, headquarters of the Asociación de Arte Útil, initiated by Tania Bruguera, presents the Arte Útil archive, a growing registry of case studies that exemplify this movement. A series of talks and events examine Arte Útil and its aspirations for art to be recalibrated as a way of operating in everyday life. The project is a collaboration with Bruguera and the Van Abbemuseum as part of The Uses of Art—The Legacy of 1848 and 1989 a project by the European museum confederation L’Internationale.


Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art commemorates ten years

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