MART as a Democratic Proposition {2012}

1.0 Introduction

The role of the ‘elite’ within any business or cultural context is what drives an industry. From working in the arts and television management, I have witnessed how discriminating factors, such as the latest trend where organisations are overflowing with unpaid interns, play a role in how these industries operate. Through this text I will address the art ‘elite’ and compare political democracy to democracies found in the art industry. I will argue that MART and other artist-led initiatives are examples of organisations that operate a truly democratic position. Additionally that artist-led initiatives such as MART are crucial, influencing organisations in the art industry, where larger institutes monitor and borrow ideas from the smaller more experimental initiatives. Bearing this in mind perhaps the power struggles in the art industry should be spread amongst artist-led initiatives and funded institutions equally, through proportionate distribution of government resources and funds, a method that could reform the industry and give art back to the public.

I will focus on MART as an example of a small arts organisation playing a key role in the development of the Irish art scene. By comparing state funded institutions to artist-led initiatives I will analyse their power structures, the role they play in the public sphere, how democratic they are, and to what extent they are reliant on the existence of an elite. It could be argued that institutes steer their own discourses with certain guests by selecting and inviting particular artists and curators producing predetermined artistic, theoretical and political positions (Möntmann, 2008). I will discuss how these positions and institutional systems have created a limited art scene in Ireland and address how institutes have begun loosing sight of their role as an art producer intended to serve a wider public.

I will interrogate the Irish art scene where independently run organisations, state funded institutions and commercial galleries all compete for engagement with the ‘art crowd’ and generating new publics. I will argue each party is striving to create their own niche within an industry, which may be slowly failing to serve the public. I will discuss how the control of the formal mechanisms of contemporary art, such as the role of the arts council, who regulate how institutions, galleries and government bodies operate, has led to a structure of smaller organisations catering to the larger. Furthermore it could be argued that art activism can create political discourses and truly cause an effect on the individual and society, while questioning whether its hostility can be channelled through activism to create new cultural objectives. To begin however I would like to address the role of democracy and point out the importance in the distinction between political democracy versus democracy in art.

2.0 Democracy & The Elite.

Political democracy is based on when a government is formed through election, while citizens have an equal say and participation in a society. This is intended to enable an open society free of a singular hierarchal control. Democracy can never represent the masses, as its main intention to bring ‘power to the people’ is contradicted by a governing body that dictates and controls how the society is run (Etzioni-Halevy, 1988, p.325). Fundamentally, it should operate as a model of equality and open dialogue, however this is rarely the case, this often leads to political protest and art activism such as the Pussy Riots, which I will discuss later. The politics and democracies in the art industry are of a different kind. Liberality is central to the working methods of the industry yet it could be argued that autocracy has always been at its backbone. The creation of art generates an open dialogue; it displays an artistic discourse. The ambition of its youth and new initiatives keeps open a mentality of hope through the creation of new enterprises and reassessment of how art should be produced.

However, the few making the decisions at the top of the art industry permits limited artistic freedoms. Selection panels or curators in large institutions chose the artworks that form the collection and select the artists for its programme. In contrast to a situation that would produce an open dialogue with the public on the selection process. Kojin Karatani suggests in his ‘Transcritique: on Kant and Marx’ that a lottery selection process, first used in the Athenian Democracy, may be a relevant mode to revolutionise our modern democracies. Karatani suggests

“Lottery functions to introduce contingency into the magnetic power center. The point is to shake up the positions where power tends to be concentrated; entrenchment of power in administrative positions can be avoided by a sudden attack of contingency” (Karatani, 2005, p.183).

Perhaps this form of lottery could be implemented in both the appointment of curators and in the selection process of artists. It would of course be a controversial form of selection but it surely would see a decrease in the control of the artistic bourgeoisie. This leads onto the questions of who are artistic elite? What is their role within the industry? It could be argued the ‘art elite’ are those who run, educate, control and earn from contemporary Irish art. For instance in the Irish domain perhaps the curators at IMMA, RHA, Douglas Hyde, head academics at NCAD or IADT or dealers at some of Dublin’s commercial art galleries, all could be seen as influential heads in command. These ‘elite’ are what I understand as the controllers of the Irish art industry, akin to any industry, they are the most powerful participants in the art scene. Many of whom have perhaps worked their way up to the top, but it could be argued have positioned themselves in a manner of which they have enabled and created an Irish art industry that caters directly to themselves and not to the wider public. Of course, without some sort of management system any industry might fail, it is just the extent of their control, which can be problematic.

This is not to say Ireland is unique in this matter, art scenes across the globe function similarly just on a larger scale. Comparable to most artist-led initiatives MART was set up to counter balance the larger institutions and galleries who often overlook emerging art practitioners. Paradoxically, these bigger institutions often allege that an artist they are showcasing is ‘emerging’, when in fact they have been on the independent art scene for many years, claimed in order to gain the status for being the first venue to show the artist. Perhaps their understanding of ‘established’ is when an artist becomes a frequent participant in established institutions rather then frequenting independent spaces. MART was created to bring a new discourse between its artists and their new audiences, opposing the exclusivity of the established art institutions.

The contemporary Irish art industry is a microcosm of the likes of Berlin, London or New York, however, Ireland has fewer galleries, curators, organisations and less finance available. Over the past twenty years, Ireland has seen the growth of state-funded contemporary art galleries and museums, alongside the rise of independent spaces and artist’ collectives. Independent spaces have begun converting to a more ‘normalized’ and traditional art institutional format to gain further recognition in the art industry. While in their place there is a new swarm of autonomous, artist-led groups; MART, Block T and The Joinery in Dublin, Occupy Space in Limerick, and Tactic in Cork all have emerged in the last decade. From this an idealistic sequence for artist’s careers has emerged:

1) An emerging artist will normally get their first break in an artist-led space.

2) This leads to an invitation to exhibit in an institutional setting such as a small, state-funded gallery like Project Art Centre or Temple Bar Gallery.

3) This may lead to their representation by a commercial gallery.

4) In turn this leads to a solo exhibition in a bigger publically funded institution (or their inclusion in a biennial).

This of course is the ‘dream’ scenario, which in most cases does not occur. The demographics that large galleries versus artist-led initiatives pitch to are often quite similar; organising exhibitions for the wider public. For instance the RHA aims directly at challenging the public’s appreciation of the visual arts, stating it is

“dedicated to developing, affirming and challenging the public’s appreciation and understanding of traditional and innovative approaches to the visual arts” (RHA Academy. 2012).

This of course is pleasing for anyone working in the arts; the question is whether or not this mission, along with many other institutes, including artist-led initiatives, is completed in an open platform free from prejudice. Independent spaces like MART are often founded to counter balance the established spaces. One might view this as part of a sequence within art and culture, where those who initially oppose the system from the outside, eventually become part of the system, e.g the French Impressionists, Modernists etc.

Perhaps Irish art producers who refrain from opening their organisation to a wider range of artists are enabling a lack of diplomatic confrontation and competition within the Irish art industry. This enables the emergence of discrimination that can be seen when artists are recycled through galleries across the country. This lack of confrontation, competitiveness and emphasis on consensus leads to a lack of political participation in an industry (Mouffe, 2002, p.57). Politics is one of the driving forces of the art industry and without natural competition the industry becomes stale. The wish for similarity and avoidance of confrontation or differences, along with the strong hold by the larger institutes over the pubic, is creating a lack of democratic competition in the Irish art scene. These factors contribute to a stagnation occurring where the industry becomes undeveloped and deficient from international art trends or movements. By competing as adversaries, not stagnant contemporaries, the industry would progress greater by developing a stronger, less bias artistic programming.

3.0 MART

In 2006 as recent graduates, Ciara Scanlan and I felt we were not treated equally within the art industry, including lack of opportunity to showcase our work. This lead to the creation of our own platform: MART. Like other autonomous spaces, MART aims to provide opportunities to showcase emerging artists and recent graduates who are confronted with a lack of opportunities. MART’s primary aim is to create a platform specifically for artists working with new media, installation, sculpture, experimental film and performance to showcase their work and provide an art resource that is accessible, interesting and enjoyable to the public. MART targets both the wider public and art enthusiasts, by encouraging public participation through workshops and discussions around exhibitions and artist led events. All of which are held in contemporary galleries and within accessible temporary locations nationally and across the globe.

As others have paved the way for MART’s existence, we simply strive to influence and contribute to the evolution of the Irish art industry. The majority of our exhibitions to date have been international events, which set us apart from other similar artist-led organisations that may produce exhibitions directly in their own locality. As MART is run as an organisation compared to a collective or studio group, it frees artists up to join the network and avail of MART’s opportunities while remaining in their own faculties; studios, galleries, spaces etc. The main differentiating factor of MART is its online gallery, which is host to over 150 artist’s work. It has become the largest showcase of contemporary Irish art online. The artists themselves control the content of this online gallery, as compared to an actual gallery. They, not a curator, decide what work is shown. The website has led to many of the showcased artists being picked up for other national and international exhibitions.

To refrain from having similarities to larger organisations, MART needs to continually question who and what public the work is created for. To do this, an initiative of self-reflexive workshops is key in the programming of MART’s new gallery space. All of MART’s curators and artists must continually question and revise MART’s role and ethos, to ensure that new endeavours engage and create accessible works of art. The programme of events must not cater only for ‘the art world’ but also for the members of the public who do not have an art background. It is by means of critical participation – through workshops, events and discussions– that new publics for MART will be produced. MART’s key philosophy must continue to be public inclusive, achieved by generating nonexclusive events focusing on engaging and accessible art.

Rosalyn Deutsch proposes that an art public does not pre-exist, in contrast to an art audience, it is produced by “participation in political activity” (Deutsche, 1998, p.288). MART’s activities and participation through art exhibitions will create these new publics; essentially it is the goal of MART to operate as a public sphere. This method of everyday participation and utilization of artistic political engagement is essential to MART’s inclusive strategy and operations as an artist led initiative.

4.0 Artist-led Initiatives

Independently run organisations and artist-led initiatives are vessels for new activity, whichare able to keep their pulse on programming contemporary issues. Artist led initiatives have been a stable feature of the Irish art industry since the 1970’s. The Artist Led Archive has documented their history, an archive begun in 2006 by Megs Morely, it is now housed in NIVAL in NCAD. It aims to document and decipher cultural conditions and significance during a time of social, political and economic change in Ireland (The Artist Led Archive, 2012). New initiatives aim to counter act the norm by breaking moulds. The temporality of these initiatives is important in respect to their ability to address contemporary art concerns. However, many succumb to members leaving the group and so the initiative disbands, or, as previously mentioned, they begin emulating established institutions.

MART’s structure is unique, it was set up as an artist-led initiative without a base, producing exhibitions in unused, derelict locations and having its only stable existence as an online gallery. MART’s un-sited web existence allows it to continue to exhibit nationally and internationally, with networked bases in Galway, Dublin and London. From this platform MART gains access, unparalleled exposure and connection to a wider public. Initiatives such as Blue Funk in the 1990’s paved the way for the likes of MART, as they set out to promote media, performance and installation work by exploring art and politics through their communicative practice (Blue Funk 2012). However the group perhaps did not have the permanency to have a lasting effect on the art industry as an organisation. MART’s longevity is due to the organisation developing and evolving through time, such as the recent opening of the new permanent gallery.

An acknowledgement of ‘new institutionalism’ is key to this argument; as it describes the transformation of art institutions from within. In the early 90s, small to medium scale state funded galleries (mainly in Northern Europe) began to embrace project-based or participatory artworks. Institutes began to interact and influence society through new methods while addressing the developments of their own management and programming. New Institutionalism utilizes participation and process based works while maintaining itself as the necessary platform to showcase art through critical debate. This revised working methodology harnesses the working systems of artist-run initiatives and artistic practices in accessing new publics. For example, fifteen years ago MoMA PS1 in New York set up their Warm Up session. A series of outdoor live music events, which was originally started while PS1 was an independent space. As successful means to create income, the model has been reproduced and appropriated from many international institutes, most recently by the Project Arts centre in Dublin. This mode is not a negative form of operations; it is a clear example of the necessary position held by artist-led initiatives in the reconstruction of the art industry.

Like a new institution, MART strives to be a think tank, a creative engine that creates opportunities, while offering itself up as a ‘place’ that expresses political desires and that acknowledges common trends in the art industries. Large art institutions such as Tate Modern or Hayward Gallery in London emulate corporate models by focusing on audience numbers, income and pleasing board members. For example the 2010 festival of independents No Soul For Sale exhibition at TATE Modern included the Irish initiative ‘This is not a shop’. The exhibition celebrated

“people who contribute to the international art scene by inventing new strategies for the distribution of information and new modes of participation” (No Soul For Sale. 2012).

Perhaps it was an attempt as a subversive critique by the independent organisation, but it was a clear sign of a large institute emulating or trying to jump on the bandwagon of the smaller more progressive groups. Smaller institutions, often for their own tactical reasons, have unbeknownst to themselves begun catering to a supply and demand system. By carrying out the leg work for larger institutes they fish out potentially successful artists for the preying larger museums to swallow up and churn out as a ready made show.

As these artist-led initiatives do not rely on large amounts of income to stay afloat, they are freed up to be more imaginative and to take risks. They build up their profile and position in the public sphere by curating a strategic program of events that shape their relationships with their publics and promote self-critique. It is with this counter strike against globalization that the new institutions critique the established by maintaining and expanding their participation in the public sphere (Möntmann, 2009. p.158). MART never set out to change existing structures, but solely to subsist, from which it has developed its own strategies, expressions and impressions by the use of a collaboration of networks and expansion of participation in the public sphere.

5.0 Power Structures

Dissecting the power structures and intentions within the systems of art is key to the understanding of MART’s democratic proposition. Deutsch states (after Laclau),

“power stems from the people but belongs to nobody. Democracy abolishes the external referent of power and refers power to society” (Deutsche, 1998, p.273).

This referral of power to society as a whole, allows democracy to locate its influence with the invention of public space, where debate can take place amongst the people. Whether this debate takes place amongst the controllers of the industry, or between art enthusiasts or local communities, etc., is another problem. MART runs as a ‘collective for the people’, operating as a not for profit organisation, which endeavours to maintain and possess a collective consciousness. Although we utilize a curatorial selection process for the addition of new artists to the online gallery, studios or exhibitions, MART aims to refer power back to the artists through various mechanisms including: proposed exhibitions, visiting curators and franchising. Artists can also use the MART brand to create their own opportunities by self curating and promoting their own work, utilizing MART’s national and international presence. Charles Esche when describing the 2005 Cork Caucus stated that the goal of the project was “to provide the platform that expresses a collective will” (Cork Caucus, 2006). MART strives to follow this democratic expression through each of its branches, allowing for discursive and constructive situations, such as the recent Invite or Reject exhibition in Flux Factory New York. This included an exhibition, live performance event and discussion seminar on contemporary art amongst New Yorkers and local artists. MART has avoided confrontations with major players in the Irish art scene by creating opportunities for artists to bypass institutional obstacles through a service of online representation and international exhibitions. As with all democratic procedures, MART’s ambition to be truly democratic in its curation, operations and accessibility is not fully achievable. True inclusivity can never sincerely happen nor can a “fully constituted political community” be formed (Deutsche, 1998, p.289). A component of exclusivity will always exist, whether it is the elements of the curational process; such as the choice of artists, the exclusion of certain art disciplines, or the manner in which MART displays the artist’s work. All of these processes conjure up elements of unavoidable exclusivity. However an awareness of this exclusivity allows revisions to be made for inclusivity and equality to subsist within the core structure of the organisation.

6.0 Public Sphere

How art plays out in the public sphere, accompanied by its presumptions, has been contested for centuries, furthermore its positioning has never seen full coherency or acceptance. The public sphere is an opportunity to express the concealed, and in this context, is the space where people, art, and opinions can interact. Within this sphere artists and art spaces can produce new publics through their exhibitions and discursive events. Chantal Mouffe describes critical art, in her anti-Habermasian approach to the public sphere, as an agonistic approach that is

“constituted by a manifold of artistic practices aiming at giving a voice to all those who are silenced within the framework of the existing hegemony” (Mouffe, 2007).

Providing a voice to the unheard is at the core in developing new publics in a diverse globalized public sphere. MART set out to create its own public rather then catering to an established or specific audience. This is accomplished by creating new relations between emerging art forms, disciplines and artists, which in turn generates new audiences in Ireland. MART’s role became intrinsic in how the Irish public received and perceived these art forms. The website, however, did not generate a new public, but widened the audience base, bringing these disciplines direct to home computers, tablets and mobile devices. This new structure created a less limiting platform then before, as previous artist-led initiatives were limited to independent spaces exhibiting mostly in Dublin. MART has developed a strategy of creating and generating new publics by producing exhibitions across West and Central Europe and across North America. Curating for an international audience opened up prospects that did not easily exist for MART in Ireland. MART was met immediately with less resistance, with a more engaging and accepting series of art spaces that led MART to focus and branch into having an international strategy in its early years.

MART has moved itself into a brand or tree with many branches, with sub directors and producers brought on board to operate each branch. 2006 saw the launch of the exhibition programming under the name of ‘MART’, while the online gallery ‘www.mart.ie’ went live in 2007. ‘MART Productions’ was created in 2010 to produce independent art films such as ‘Gypsy Soul Disco’; an experimental documentary by Nicky Larkin. ‘The MART Umbrella’ in 2011 began franchising our ideas across America and Europe. As exampled through the exhibitions of Invite or Reject and An Instructional, from which MART has partnered with several independent spaces such as SPACE in Bratislava and Entrée in Bergen. Finally ‘The MART’ is home to studios and gallery hosting contemporary art exhibitions in a disused fire station in Rathmines, Dublin. While MIAEN; Mart’s International Arts Exchange Network will begin offering professional development for artists and curators from around the world to come and curate an exhibition in Dublin with local artists. Through these endeavours MART can continue to generate new publics through exhibitions, events, talks, debates and workshops. This franchised approach is an aspect that TATE, Guggenheim and Dublin Science Gallery have taken by creating international franchises of their own. It may be an institutionalized format of operations; however MART’s core ethos is based on the creation of new opportunities compared to larger institutions that may have a more profit driven goal.

7.0 Engagement

The engagement with new audiences to allow inclusion is crucial to all art establishments. MART operates with the core ethos to ensure that art is seen. To understand artistic engagement we must address how artwork is created; from theoretical, instinctual and developmental processes. The connection between an artist and their work is the first engagement an artwork experiences as an entity. The work is controlled by its relationship with the artist, where it can be made or destroyed through quick moments of engagement. The artist releases the controls of viewership by dissolving their jurisdiction to a curator who forms an occupational engagement with the piece. The method of display is fundamental to how an audience will engage with the piece. Many film and video works are intended solely for exhibition in a gallery space and cannot be showed online. For instance Takashi Murakami’s video ‘Akihabara Majokko Princess’ starring Kirsten Dunst was shown in 2009 in the Tate Modern’s ‘Pop Life’ exhibition, while it is non-existent in official form online. MART’s survival and longevity is due to the nature of its engagement with the viewer as collaborator through its programming, localities and press. Walter Benjamin in ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ states;

“the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence”(Benjamin, 2005).

Institutions that rehash previous retrospectives or educational formats are eliminating what Benjamin describes as the ‘aura’ of the work (Benjamin, 2005). Hence the engagement of the true relationship between audience and art form is lost. By focusing on monetary or statistic goals, an art institution is substituting the artistic accreditation of the work for capitalistic purposes. Keeping the quality of work to high standards and innovative means of engagement is key to evolution and the progression of Irish art. Benjamin explains this awareness further stating art has two fundamental principles, “with one, the accent is on the cult value; with the other, on the exhibition value of the work” (Benjamin, 2005). One can compare the Stone Age paintings to Greek artefacts and to the Mona Lisa, they are all contenders in this battle between cult and exhibition value while focusing on their accessibility or production. The cult status of an object feeds the needs of the art institution, curator, dealer or collector, while the exhibition value serves the publics need of engagement, stimulating a twofold situation feeding off each other. Art institutes thus begin operating through a cult mentality, working to stay on top they exchange artists, boast through press and play off each other to keep their art industry alive. Newer organizations such as MART strive to find the balance between the established and the forging of new agendas into a new self created public sphere, away from an ‘art crowd’ or institutional process.

Art dealers, who appropriate successful artist’s work, gain full control over the audience and their engagement with the work, the nature of which can be contentious. However there is a new energy in town, the influx of new spaces/independent groups emerging from the recession – Block T, Joinery, BASIC SPACE etc, which I previously mentioned, have created accessible audience engagement with local communities. Louisa Buck, in ‘Market Matters’ the Arts Council of England’s addresses these dynamics of the contemporary art industry, stating;

“small-scale and more informal, artist-run and emerging spaces and some commissioning agencies provide a crucial showcase for the most experimental work and are also an important entry point for younger as well as more established collectors” (Buck, 2004, p.20).

Block T’s recent Link Culturefest is a good example of this as it aimed to showcase experimental and contemporary artists to communities in Dublin 7. A series of events were curated for the public including exhibitions, concerts, screenings and tours. MART carried out a similar program during Imagine Ireland in 2011, where a combination of exhibitions, workshops, performances and discussion groups engaged with new audiences in North America, specifically aimed at the Irish American communities. The historian Alexander Dorner, stated that museums will become “more like a power station, a producer of energy,” (Doherty, 2006, p.3). MART and Block T are such producers, creating and revitalising old procedures to critically engage and bring art to wider audiences.

8.0 ART ACTIVISM

Art acts as an entity engaging and on occasion dealing with politics and identity that create new political discourses that enable new publics. Whether art creates new politics can be speculative but what can be suggested is that artist-led initiatives can set themselves up as an alternative way of targeting the will of the people (Cork Caucus, 2006). Targeting these opinions produces alternative political discourses and opens up discussions around the role of art and its effect on the individual and society. A contemporary example of artistic intervention is the Russian feminist, punk-rock group Pussy Riot, who staged an intervention on 21st February 2012 in a Moscow Cathedral targeting both Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. Claire Tancons describes the democratic interventionists providing an;

“iconic representation to the crisis of representative democracy. Pussy Riot have played no small part in providing heightened visual currency and affording new subjective agency” (Tancons, 2012).

Pussy Riot’s actions, which resulted in a three-year jail sentence, triggered protests for the freedom of expression across Russia and support internationally against this sentencing (nytimes.com, 2012). Their carnivalesque protest has become paradigmatic of the anti-capitalist movement in Russia. Pussy Riot ignited an alternative political discourse by targeting the will of the people, fighting for their liberties against a repressive regime, consequently highlighting the problems evident in Russia’s democracy. Their actions have brought new publics, nationally and internationally, directly to their cause, accomplished through shared art activism. MART has always concerned itself with the collective consciousness. However individual ideology, which runs against and finds no solution for group mentality in the social world, is fundamental in the make up of our democratic society. The hostility that subsists in human societies subverts and antagonizes the dominant hegemony, by creating new cultural, social and political objectives. Mouffe describes this battle between individual and the multiple as

“characterized by a rationalist and individualist approach which is unable to grasp adequately the pluralistic nature of the social world, with the conflicts that pluralism entails; conflicts for which no rational solution could ever exist” (Chantal Mouffe, 2007).

Mouffe continues by stating artists can play a role in this

“hegemonic struggle by subverting the dominant hegemony and by contributing to the construction of new subjectivities” (Chantal Mouffe, 2007).

If art is for everyone, then it is the artist’s function to disrupt and continue to construct these new subjectives while creating new cultures and creative linguistics to its publics, in retaliation against the dominant hegemony.

9.0 Conclusion

Stating MART is a conceivable fore runner in advancing Irish contemporary art, is an ego driven statement, which pushes other art producers out and ironically implies MART’s elitism. Therefore this text may be interpreted as becoming elitist itself having a political self-righteous dimension contributing to the blinkered scene that is the Irish art industry. Mouffe stated that “every form of art has a political dimension” or “contributes to the deconstruction or critique of it” (Doublesession.net, 2010), consequently the ethos that ‘art is for everyone’ is quite feasibly a politically motivated agenda deconstructing and created to subvert a democracy that I myself am knee deep in. Time will tell if MART has initiated a new form of existence in our democratic society, which perhaps needed to be reimagined to replace the established and combat the globalized tenure, allowing a more equalized true heterogeneous art industry.

Throughout this text I have argued that art can be and should be for everyone. It should not be lost between the diplomacies or elitism or catering for the ‘art crowd’, a trait that can be seen in many art institutions, organisations and museums. A focus on the art and on the egalitarian nature of the industry can be lost sometimes in the structures of art institutions that often disregard their role in our public sphere. The art industry in Ireland has seen a rise in independent run spaces, this is a clear deviation away from the established institutions. These independents have begun creating their own platforms as art activists and are triggering new negotiations between the art industry and public sphere. The supposition of this argument is that MART needs to continue its deviance away from the conventional stream of art operations and organizations. It must maintain its evolution and concentration on generating new publics, while never truly conforming to the fate of the previous generation of independent organizations; that is to become part of the establishment.

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