Glossary of Common Knowledge

Beyond the conventional usage of the language in contemporary art

A list of terms associated with six referential fields, as proposed by a number of narrators in the course of several seminars, to negotiate various positions, contexts and local narratives about contemporary art referential fields. The aim of proposing six referential fields (historicization, subjectivization, geopolitics, constituencies, commons, and other-institutionality) is to meet the need for discussions that can address various localities and temporalities. Contemporary art contains a variety of social, historical, cultural and political references that exist as referential fields outside the focal ideas, concepts, and artworks themselves. These references also condition the form and practice of artistic production.

Many institutional structures inherited from both the bourgeois and the socialist national states survive today either as ruins of the past, ready for touristic consumption or as precarious organizations sieged by spurious powers. Social and political movements of many different kinds are now reclaiming the institutional space from a new political imagination. A few contemporary institutions all over the world are rehearsing forms of negotiation with these instituent practices.

During the other institutionality seminar, the narrators are going to present their terms in the context of artworks,social and institutional practices shape either historical cases which were signified by specific local environments such as former Yugoslavia or similar contexts, or with the new commissioned artistic proposals related to different issues about future. As for the historical cases, we are especially interested in a comparison between 'institutional critique' in different non–western localities; as for the works about future, we would like to link them to the context of the global 'new world chaos'.