Spring 2011

– Spring 2011

Contextual Essays


Events, Works, Exhibitions

Alliances for Unlearning: On Gallery Education and Institutions of Critique

Carmen Mörsch

Tags: documenta 12, Jacques Ranciere

Buero trafo.K, ‘So, what does this have to do with me, anyway?', Transnational Perceptions of the History of National Socialism and the Holocaust, Vienna 2009-11

Buero trafo.K, ‘So, what does this have to do with me, anyway?', Transnational Perceptions of the History of National Socialism and the Holocaust, Vienna 2009-11

… [G]allery education, as it has developed since the mid-1970s, has been both a distinct and overlapping artistic strategy which is integrally connected to radical art practices linked to values aired and explored in the liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s, and particularly the women's movement. It is an individual strategy among many (including, for instance, small-scale exhibition, small press and small magazine publishing, alternative libraries and archives) to shift art from a monolithic and narcissistic position into a dialogic, open and pluralist set of tendencies that renegotiate issues of representation, institutional critique
and inter-disciplinarity.1

This is how Felicity Allen, head of the 'Learning' department at Tate Britain until recently, began an article in 2008 titled 'Situating Gallery Education', in which she undertook to contextualise this field of practice in England with regard to both history and feminism. This was one of the first attempts to theorise and historicise gallery education in this way. Gallery education is located - also and especially in conjunction with the 'educational' or 'pedagogical' turn in curating - at the edges of the art field and of the attention of those writing within it. Stating this does not necessarily mean lamenting the situation: operating at the edges and developing a semi-visible practice has special potentials and qualities.2 This article contains speculations of its own about the functions of gallery education for the institutions in which it takes place, and about the concepts of pedagogy and learning that are inscribed in these functions.3 It also speculates about the pedagogical functions of the absence of educators (who are generally female) and of the gallery education that does not take place in institutions that regard themselves as 'institutions of critique' in Andrea Fraser's sense.4

Allen's article was published in the second edition of the e-journal Tate Encounters [E]ditions. This publication accompanies the research project 'Tate Encounters: Britishness and Visual Culture' that Tate Britain conducted from 2007 to 2010 in cooperation with the London South Bank University and Chelsea College of Art & Design. In this project a research group composed of academics, museum staff and undergraduate students with
various ties to immigration investigated how Britishness is produced through the displays of the museum.5 The data and intermediate results made available on the project's website show that during its course the museum's Cultural Diversity Policy, among other things, was radically called into question, and this implied the need for changes in the educative and curatorial work of Tate Britain. 'Tate Encounters' is informed by insights from decades of feminist and critical museology, and by attempts to develop ideas of institutional practice accordingly.6 In their engagement with the displays and the staff of Tate Britain, for instance, the students developed their own visual and verbal approaches, which they linked through the production of 'ethnographic videos' to other contexts specifically relevant to them. These 'co-researcher productions' were in turn associated with a series of interviews with various experts on topics such as education practice within the museum; the status of digital media in museum practice and culture; the racialisation of cultural policy and the role of museums in social regeneration; and narratives of British visual culture that could be accessed through curatorship.7 The project sought to dissolve the hierarchies between researchers and the researched, and between teachers and students, in favour of a transversal alliance, but without trivialising the power relations and hierarchies of the setting. Indeed, in this attempt to conduct 'visitor research' as 'research in cooperation with visitors', the project is highly self-reflective and meticulous in its treatment. Gallery educators in the German-speaking world have conducted similar projects as a research component of their work as a critical practice.8 Twenty freelance and precariously employed gallery educators worked as a team at documenta 12 (2007), for example, to carry out analyses aimed at changing the practice and conditions of gallery education into forms of 'militant research' - that is, as performance and intervention.9

My own involvement in the documenta project consisted of leading and supervising a team-based research process, and resulted in the thesis that gallery education, depending on how it is organised, fulfils various institutional functions:10 an affirmative function, when it conveys information about art institutions and what they produce to an initiated and already interested audience as smoothly as possible, and a reproductive function to the extent that it endeavours to bring in children, young people and others uninitiated to these institutions and thus ensure the continuation of their audiences. It can also assume a critical deconstructive function when it joins together with the participants to question, disclose and work on what is taken for granted in art and its institutions, and to develop knowledge that enables them to form their own judgements and become aware of their own position and its conditions. Finally, gallery education can sometimes have a transformative effect, in the sense of changing society and institutions, if it does not content itself with critical questioning, but rather seeks to influence what it conveys - for example, by shifting the institution in the direction of more justice and less discursive and structural violence.

These four functions are not to be imagined hierarchically or as strictly chronological - in the sense of arising from sequential stages of development. In gallery education practice there are usually several of these functions active at the same time. A deconstructive or transformative gallery education, for instance, can hardly be imagined without some affirmative and reproductive aspects. At the same time, the friction between gallery education and its host institution increases the more the critical functions come into play. The various functions are additionally affiliated with different discourses on pedagogy and education: implicit conceptions of what education is, how it occurs and whom it addresses. For instance, neither the affirmative nor the reproductive function is self-reflective in the sense that their engagement in education is not queried in terms of its value codings and normalisations. Yet these two strategies differ in the question of the how and the who of education. The affirmative function addresses, first and foremost, the expert audience - players in the art field.11 The methods used for this type of educational work - although it is rarely called that - are developed in the academic field, derived from methodological canons that are generally instructive and limited to verbal expression in the form of lectures or debates. The reproductive function, on the other hand, is oriented (from the perspective of the institution) towards the excluded, i.e. specifically absent parts of the public, especially children, young people and families. They are imagined as 'remote from art' and as 'laypeople'. For this reason, methods of playful learning are often derived from primary school and kindergarten educational practices and from institutionalised leisure activities for children and young people. They are oriented to the constructivist turn in learning theory,12 according to which it is less a matter of instruction in contents than of providing environments that stimulate manifold and complex processes of independently constructed meaning. Along with learning 'specifics', the point in these programmes is also 'general' in the sense of learning a love of art:13 generating positive experiences within the institution, recognising art's values and relevance and generating a desire to return.

In comparison, the deconstructive and the transformative functions are based on a self-reflective understanding of education and learning. Education itself becomes the object of deconstruction or transformation: subject matter, addressees and methods are subjected to a critical examination of the power relations inscribed in them, and this in turn becomes the subject of the work with the audience. Questions are raised, such as: who determines what is important to communicate? Who categorises 'target groups' and to what end? What gallery education is permitted within the institution, and what is considered inappropriate and by whom? How do certain methods of teaching and learning implicitly create the subjects of teaching and learning? Sometimes the positions of those teaching and those learning change in this practice of querying: that is, the educational process is understood as a mutual process, even though it is structured by the aforementioned power relations.

With the deconstructive function, the primary educational objective is the development of a critical attitude. This does not necessarily mean aspiring to change the conditions of the educational framework itself.14 In the understanding of education associated with this function, engaging with art and its institutions is a relatively sheltered area of experiments under complex conditions, which aim to enhance the capability for agency, critique and creativity. Methods borrowed from artistic procedures are applied more often here. For its part, the transformative function emphasises the structural progression of the institution in the direction of more social justice and less epistemological and structural violence in the world at large, an objective linked with fostering critique and self-empowerment. For this reason, the transformative methodological instruments are also oriented towards strategies of activism and towards the epistemologies and methods of critical pedagogy - with a special reference to Paulo Freire, for whom the transformation of language and of verbal action was a constitutive (although not the sufficient) element for an education aiming to change the world.

In this logic there are no fixed and predefined addressees. The concept of 'target groups', which is common for the reproductive approach, is superseded by an interest in forming alliances and in cooperation. Of course, however, here too there is a 'hidden curriculum': what is expected and claimed is the fundamental affirmation of a critical appropriation of art and its institutions.

Gallery education that understands itself as a critical practice focuses on elements of the deconstructive and the transformative function. It conveys knowledge as represented by exhibitions and institutions and examines their established functions while rendering its own position visible. Accordingly, it attaches special importance to providing the necessary conceptual tools for appropriating knowledge, and adopts a reflective stance towards the means of education, instead of relying on 'individual aptitude' or a striving for 'self-fulfilment'. While it seeks to broaden the institution's audience, it does not indulge in the illusion that learning in the exhibition space is solely connected to play and recreation.15 Ideally, gallery education acknowledges the aforementioned constructivist concept of learning processes, as well as the enriching potential of gaps found within language and comprehension.16 That the knowledge of both visitors and educators is considered equal sets this practice apart from mere service work: critical gallery education opts for controversy. In theoretical and methodological terms, it works along the lines of a critique of domination, addressing issues such as the production of gender, ethnicity or class categories in the institution, and the related structural, material and symbolic devaluation of gallery education, which I will return to later. It analyses the functions of (authorised and unauthorised) speech and the use of different linguistic registers in the exhibition space. Recipients are not regarded as subordinate to any institutional order; rather, the focus is directed at their possibilities for agency and code-exchange in the sense of a 'practice of everyday life'.17 It also favours a reading of institutional order that, far from being conceived as static, leaves leeway for working within the gaps, interstices and contradictions generated by the configuration of rooms and displays of the exhibiting institution.18

Furthermore, critical gallery education addresses the ways in which the market influences the structure, presentation, perception and reception of art, and thereby counters the middle-class illusion that art is detached from the economy to which it is actually closely tied. It considers the cultural and symbolic capital of art and its institutions as constituents of inclusionary and exclusionary processes in the art field. At the same time, it acknowledges and communicates the fact that symbolic capital gives rise to a desire, and develops both strategic and sensuous ways to appropriate such capital. Finally, it seeks to transform the institution into a space in which those who are explicitly not at the centre of the art world can produce their own articulations and representations. In this sense, it links institutions to their outside, to their local and geopolitical contexts. The field thus derives its complexity from art, the core subject on which its methodological repertoire is grounded.

Summarised so programmatically - one could almost say paradigmatically - the approach of a critical gallery education practice seems to be something that must be in a permanent state of what Derrida called 'à venir', in coming.19 Just as in other fields - such as curating, for example - a critical approach (in this case, gallery education as a critical practice) is a minority position. However, as Felicity Allen describes, the historical connections (in personnel, content, structure) of this field of work to civil rights movements, to feminism and to the intersection of art and political activism show that the critical paradigm in gallery education does exist.20 Indeed, it has been present for at least forty years as an aspiration. One current example relevant in this context is the work by the Youth Council of the National Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, initiated by Janna Graham and now under the direction of Syrus Marcus Ware, which was established in 2000. In this project adolescents and young adults developed a programme in cooperation with other groups from the city, with contributions (exhibitions, performances, interventions in the collection, zines, lectures, radio programmes, workshops) on topics such as the function of the gallery in relation to national citizenship; policing and police violence in urban space; or the link between art, activism and institutions in Toronto.21 Critical gallery educators have to navigate manifold ambivalences. They are representatives of the institution, so they have no opportunity to imagine an uncompromised 'outside' for their work or themselves as heroic figures.In Vienna the organisation trafo.K produces gallery education projects for the Museum of Modern Art Vienna (MUMOK), the international book fair Buch Wien, the Vienna Mozart Year, the Museum of the City of Linz and others that, according to Nora Sternfeld, 'overcome the function of reproducing knowledge and become something else - something unpredictable and open to the possibility of a knowledge production that, in tones strident or subtle, would work to challenge the apparatus of value-coding'.22 Adela Železnik, Curator for Public Programmes at the Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana, is part of the Radical Education Collective (REC), which was founded in 2006 'to find ways of "translating" radical pedagogy into the sphere of artistic production, with education being conceived not merely as a model but also as a field of political participation'.23 In Oldenburg, Germany, Nanna Lüth and her colleagues at the Edith Russ Site for Media Art conduct media (art) education with the aim of encouraging its participants 'to better understand the strategies and codes of a media world that is entirely commercial in character'.

The latter project is one of the few I know of that is located in a small art institution, which at least partly sees itself as an 'institution of critique'.24 Perhaps surprisingly, gallery education projects that attempt to be critical and aim for changes in the sense described above are usually part of large, often national art institutions, which accordingly have a powerful position in the art system and operate as global players in the art market. Projects there become entangled in special contradictions. Their critical potential is particularly exposed to the dangers of neoliberal appropriation, becoming instrumentalised in the context of an imperative positing of education in the so-called 'knowledge society' and the concomitant revaluation of 'soft skills' within society.25 In some cases they are almost fig leaf measures in conjunction with diversity and audience development policies. They assist the institutions in presenting themselves as progressive and socially responsible, while leaving the internal logics of operation, which usually function in a strictly hierarchical and less socially aware way, unchanged. More recently, there have been discussions about examples in England, where major art institutions like to make use of the added value of artistic-pedagogic collectives in the sense of radical chic, but (re-)act inconsistently when these collectives question the logic of operations and the structures of the host institutions with the same radicality.26 Not least of all, gallery education projects intended to have a transformative effect frequently have, at best, only reforming effects within the institution. This is evident in the case of the documenta 12 research and education programme. The documenta 12 programme was possible because the educational turn in curating was taken up and continued by the artistic director Roger M. Buergel and curator Ruth Noack. With their support, education at documenta 12 was able to operate self-reflectively within the framework of the exhibition and to open up space for experiments (though adequate financial resources were not made available by the institution). Yet the reception of this experiment was and is limited almost exclusively to specialists, taking place within the professional community of gallery education.27 At the institutional level it was not possible to establish gallery education as a critical practice, as the management of the documenta GmbH argued that the mode of gallery education was the responsibility of the respective artistic directors. Based on the same argument, it was not possible to extend the collaboration with a local audience that had been initiated through the project's 'Local Advisory Board' after the exhibition closed.28 What was achieved, however, was the institution of a principle of openness on the part of documenta for future work with children and young people in the exhibition. It is possible that this will change in the 2012 iteration of the exhibition, but it is too early to tell.29

'Institutions of critique', on the other hand, rarely work together with gallery educators, even when their resources allow them to do so. I would like to speculate on the reasons for this and on the function of the absence of gallery educators in these spaces. The fine line between disrupting and stabilising dominant orders is very narrow for critical practices in neoliberalism, where critical gallery educators have to navigate manifold ambivalences. They are representatives of the institution, so they have no opportunity to imagine an uncompromised 'outside' for their work or themselves as heroic figures. Due to the presumption that their position is insuffciently radical, they are frequently subjected to disregard or contempt from critically positioned actors in the art field, from whom they would prefer to receive interest and support. In reflections on pedagogy currently undertaken by curators and artists, gallery education does not appear as an independent practice with its own history and controversial discourses, but is treated instead - if at all - in casual asides. '(Here should I be clear that I am not referring to the work traditionally carried out by museum and state-funded gallery education and interpretation departments…),' emphasises Andrea Phillips in brackets in her article about 'Education Aesthetics' in the publication Curating and the Educational Turn (2010).30 In the same book, Simon Sheikh reflects on Andrea Fraser's 1984 performance Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk, taking it for granted that gallery education, which he calls 'mediation', still exists in 2010 solely to teach people the 'right' way to look, from the perspective of the institution, and the 'right' way to understand the works.31 Has he not noticed the post-structuralist and power theory reflections in this field? It is hard to imagine that a protagonist from gallery education would write an article about the 'functions of curating' without basic knowledge of this practice. That this does not seem to be a problem the other way around indicates the hierarchies between curating and educating: the lack of knowledge about the history and discourses of gallery education involves a 'sanctioned ignorance', in Gayatri Spivak's sense, an unknowing that strengthens one's own position of power.32 This could be considered the first pedagogical function of the absence of gallery education in institutions of critique. For a gallery education that sees itself as a critical practice could be also realised in this kind of institution, i.e. it could question and work on mechanisms of exclusion, naturalisations and power relations there as well. This, however, could be seen as calling the critical position on the part of curators and artists into question. If curators did not want this to happen, then it would be a sensible strategy of territorialisation to regard their actions as being identical with the actions of gallery education.33

This is not the case, however. The audience attracted by events organised by curators and artists is far more delimited than the groups accessed by gallery educators. The many 'academies', 'schools', 'seminars', 'workshops', 'sessions', 'encounters' and 'lessons' initiated in the course of the 'educational turn' are largely attended - at least as far as I have been able to observe - by people who are similar in habits, lifestyle and attitudes to those of the curators. For those who accept the invitation, being in these spaces and engaging in

social interaction and collective artistic and intellectual production signifies an increase in symbolic and cultural capital. In this way, these spaces are no different from the art spaces that are regarded as hegemonic and bourgeois. Critical gallery education practice, on the other hand, involves a tremendous capacity for embarrassment. It takes places in rooms that sometimes smell more of sweat and squashed lunch packages than of brand new furniture and freshly painted walls. It requires a willingness to take seriously views that

substantially deviate from one's own position and aesthetics much different from one's own taste; it requires radically alternating between registers of language and aesthetics. Pedagogical expertise means having an idea of how to react to the effects of educational and knowledge hierarchies in the face of different world views, utopias and desires, other than by feeling embarrassed, turning up one's nose, becoming defensive or being helplessly silent.

Moreover, gallery educators cannot expect that their audience will be willing to accept a critical stance. An audience that rejects this expectation eludes the educational intentions inherent to the deconstructive and transformative functions of promoting a capacity for critique and agency. There is a pedagogical paradox here, which is constitutive for gallery education work: in certain situations, a participant's refusal to take part in working on deconstruction/transformation and his or her insistence on different, independent interests could be a self-empowering act. These and other paradoxes call for a mode of 'unlearning privilege' on the part of critical gallery educators,34 an active reflection - in other words, one that is consequently also articulated in action - in relation to the privilege of one's own position, colliding languages and habitual constitutions. Nora Sternfeld aptly calls this work an 'unglamorous task'.35 And this could be seen as the second function of the absence of gallery educators in institutions of critique: enabling the concentration on glamorous tasks, the collectively produced preservation of the aura and exclusivity through the peer group.

It is in this context that the current popularity of the philosopher Jacques Rancière, and especially his book The Ignorant Schoolmaster (1983),36 in the art field is significant. There is hardly a statement in conjunction with the 'educational turn' that can do without a reference to the radical democratic vision of self-learning, which Rancière discusses using the historical example of the linguistics and literature professor Jean-Joseph Jacotot and the method of universal learning he developed in Leuven in 1818. According to this conception, the pedagogical relationship has always been constitutive of inequality, because one person presumes to have knowledge to be conveyed to others. In contrast, an emancipatory process of learning is self-controlled. The position of the teacher is superfluous, because every individual has in principle the same intelligence. Yet what other preconditions did Jacotot's students have? They most likely came from bourgeois families and schools, because who else went to the university in Leuven in the nineteenth century? Jacotot's students, who taught themselves French on the basis of a bilingual text, remained among themselves, just as self-learning groups in the pedagogical spaces of the art field usually do. Among the latter, the everyday use of Rancière's theses has the function of framing their own exclusionary actions as a radical democratic gesture and thus no longer questioning, let alone changing them. The reference to every subject's capability for self-empowerment ironically leads to a belief in distinction - as one does not feel obliged or even entitled to make an effort to reach those who do not feel they belong in emancipatory spaces, because that would be paternalistic, after all. Ruth Sonderegger, a philosopher who specialises in Rancière's work, notes that regardless of Rancière's dislike ('Abneigung') of Pierre Bourdieu's analyses, it still remains necessary to pay attention to normalisation and exclusion in the art field:

In my view, it is quite astonishing that Rancière does not see Bourdieu's research on the art field as a complementary endeavour. Indeed, both are interested in the question of what art can contribute to the classification of social space as a practically sensual physical space […] with the only difference that one emphasises emancipatory effects and the other normalising effects. Rancière's archival evidence for the self-emancipation of joiners, floor layers and metal smiths with a love of literature seems just as convincing to me as Bourdieu's evidence that the discourse maintained by various institutions about the disinterestedness of art beginning in 1750 is anything but disinterestedness, but rather a strategic means of establishing and fixing class boundaries along a new kind of capital: namely cultural capital. 37

On 18 and 19 September 2010, there was a symposium in Vienna with the title 'educational turn: Internationale Perspektiven auf Vermittlung in Museen und Ausstellungen' ('International Perspectives of Education in Museums and Exhibitions').38 In her introductory lecture, Sternfeld, one of the organisers, called this event a re-appropriation of the discourse taking place in the curatorial field by gallery education with a critical self-image. She also referred to how gallery educators and their knowledge have previously been consistently overlooked in the attempt to propose curatorial action, in the course of the 'reflective turn', as a way of generating, conveying and experiencing knowledge beyond setting up exhibitions. In her view, curatorial action comes closer in this way to gallery education. It adapts the promises of the pedagogical, but without having to be confronted with the tension between these promises and the impossibility of fulfilling them entirely in pedagogical practice. She emphasised that this is a patriarchally structured omission, because it is based on hierarchically placing production over reproduction and distribution (in this specific case: generating knowledge in comparison with passing on knowledge). Unlike the present text, which attempts to illuminate the reasons for this omission and to raise the question of which function inheres in it (or also: who exactly been consistently overlooked in the attempt to propose curatorial action, in the course of the 'reflective turn', as a way of generating, conveying and experiencing knowledge beyond setting up exhibitions. In her view, curatorial action comes closer in this way to gallery education. It adapts the promises of the pedagogical, but without having to be confronted with the tension between these promises and the impossibility of fulfilling them entirely in pedagogical practice. She emphasised that this is a patriarchally structured omission, because it is based on hierarchically placing production over reproduction and distribution (in this specific case: generating knowledge in comparison with passing on knowledge). Unlike the present text, which attempts to illuminate the reasons for this omission and to raise the question of which function inheres in it (or also: who exactly profits from it and how), Sternfeld's lecture stressed the common interests and potential possibilities for cooperation between the two fields. Ultimately, in her view, both educative and curatorial action with critical aspirations involve the attempt, a minoritised one, to make the actualisation of critical, pedagogical approaches productive for a new institutional practice, away from representation towards processual spaces of agency, and to turn the disciplinary link (from a historical perspective) between art and education into an emancipatory project. Janna Graham, for her part, emphasises in her article 'Spanners in the Spectacle: Radical Research at the Frontlines' (2010) the shared battle against precarious working conditions in the art field and against the neoliberal appropriation of creativity as an economic factor, seeing here the urgent necessity of forming alliances between artists, curators and gallery educators, and especially between these and activists: If the project of an 'educational turn' is indeed to find new strategies for opposing, exiting or even surviving these new regimes of arts education, it is necessary then to move beyond professional distinctions, to include those actively engaged in the struggle between the education of a neoliberalised 'creative class' and the creation of emancipatory and critical education.39 In conclusion, I would like to emphasise another potential shared interest between curatorial and educational action in conjunction with the 'educational turn': engendering queer spaces in the sense that the desire to become free from contradictions, in one way or another, gives way to the logic of action of open-ended work in and with the contradictions. The antinomy, alluded to above, between emancipation through the will to educate and emancipation through emphasising the presumed principle equality of all subjects (represented here by the two theoretical positions of Rancière and Bourdieu respectively), between exclusionary action and paternalist action, is complex and not to be resolved in practice. Critical gallery educators are just as aware of this irresolvability as critical curators - but they may sometimes draw different conclusions from it. In my view, collaboration under these auspices, bringing these conflicts into the artistic-educative spaces of the 'educational turn', would in fact open up new possibilities for what an institutional practice following institutional critique could be.

It would be hard work, though. A precondition for forming an alliance of this kind - if it wants to do justice to the egalitarian claims of the 'educational turn' - would be the recognition of gallery education as an independent cultural practice of knowledge production in the curatorial field as well, while simultaneously questioning and processing the aforementioned hierarchisation of production and reproduction/distribution. Another precondition would be to make room in art spaces in the sense of 'unlearning privilege', and that the occupation of space should be motivated by activist positions - with all the possibly disastrous consequences this might have for the aesthetic and intellectual glamorousness of the peer groups previously operating in it.

It may be possible to create these conditions as one effect of productive encounters in coming years - in case the 'educational turn' proves to be a real turn and not 'simply another in a string of long-term social and political projects that are routinely "discovered" (like Columbus "discovered" America) by the contemporary art world to satiate an endless demand for circulation of the "new"'.40

Translated from German by Aileen Derieg. The text's full title is 'Alliances for Unlearning: On the Possibility of Future Collaborations Between Gallery Education and Institutions of Critique'.

  1. Felicity Allen, 'Situating Gallery Education', Tate Encounters [E]dition 2: Spectatorship, Subjectivity and the National Collection of British Art (ed. David Dibosa), February 2008. Available at http://www.tate.org.uk/research/tateresearch/majorprojects/tate-encounters/edition-2/ (last accessed on 18 October 2010).

  2. Visibility means not only improved opportunities for agency and articulation, but also an increase in control and regulation. See the allusion in F. Allen, 'Situating Gallery Education', op. cit.; Veronica Sekules, 'The Edge Is Not the Margin', in Access all Areas, Dublin: Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2010, pp.235-53; and Carmen Mörsch, 'Kunstcoop©: Kunstvermittlung als kritische Praxis', in Viktor Kittlausz and Winfried Pauleit (ed.), Kunst - Museum - Kontexte: Perspektiven der Kunstund Kulturvermittlung, Bielefeld: Transcript, 2006, pp.177-94.

  3. I use the term 'function' not in a determinist, functionalist sense, but rather based on the concept of the 'author function' as introduced by Michel Foucault: as a historically evolved, non-intentional occurrence, which is still structured by power relations and domination, and which is involved in producing the mechanisms of order and exclusion, by which it is itself conditioned. See M. Foucault, 'What Is an Author?' (1969), Language, Counter-Memory, Practice (ed. Donald F. Bouchard, trans. D. F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon), Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977, pp.113-38. I prefer 'function' rather than effect, in order to leave no doubt that the use, the concrete arrangement and the dispensing of gallery education along with the associated consequences does not necessarily involve individually intended effects, but nevertheless those that are based on active actions guided by certain interests. These effects can be analysed in terms of which interests are respectively dominant at a certain time and in a certain context and which narratives are hegemonic.

  4. 'It's not a question of being against the institution: We are the institution. It's a question of what kind of institution we are, what kind of values we institutionalise, what forms of practice we reward, and what kinds of rewards we aspire to. Because the institution of art is internalised, embodied, and performed by individuals, these are the questions that institutional critique demands we ask, above all, of ourselves.' Andrea Fraser, 'From the Critique of Institutions to the Institution of Critique', Artforum, vol.44, no.1, September 2005, pp.278-83.

  5. There were two conditions for participating in the research project: the undergraduate students had to come from a family that had migrated to England (from where was irrelevant) and in which they were the first to attend a university. See http://www.tate.org.uk/research/tateresearch/majorprojects/ tate-encounters/ (last accessed on 18 October 2010).

  6. This project will be published as: Andrew Dewdney, David Dibosa and Victoria Walsh (ed.), Post Critical Museology: Theory and Practice in the Art Museum, London and New York: Routledge, 2011.

  7. The extensive output of visual productions and research papers is accessible in its entirety at: http://process.tateencounters.org/ (last accessed on 13 November 2010).

  8. Current examples of this would be the project 'Doing Kinship with Pictures and Objects: A Laboratory for Public and Private Practices of Art' (2009-12) at the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art, where the research team includes the two gallery educators Andrea Hubin and Karin Schneider; see A. Hubin and K. Schneider, 'Doing Research with Anthropologists, Designers, Mediators and a Museum: A Project on, for and with Families in Vienna', Engage Magazine, issue 25 ('Family Learning'), Spring 2010, pp.31-40. There are also the research and education projects of trafo.K, the Viennese agency for cultural education described in Nora Sternfeld, 'Unglamorous Tasks: What Can Education Learn from Its Political Traditions?', e-flux journal, issue 14, March 2010. Available at http://www.e-flux.com/journal/view/125 (last accessed on 29 October 2010).

  9. Research at the Front Lines', Fuse Magazine, April 2010, n.p. Also available at http://www.faqs.org/ periodicals/201004/2010214291.html (last accessed on 13 November 2010). On the concept of 'militant research', see Marta Malo de Molina, 'Common Notions, Part 1: Workers-inquiry, Co-research, Consciousness-raising' (ed. Notas Rojas Collective Chapel Hill, trans. Maribel Casas-Cortés and Sebastian Cobarrubias), February 2006, http://transform.eipcp.net/transversal/0406/malo/en (last accessed on 29 October 2010).

  10. For more detail on this and for an explanation of gallery education as critical practice, see C. Mörsch, 'At a Crossroads of Four Discourses: documenta 12 Gallery Education in Between Affirmation, Reproduction, Deconstruction and Transformation', in C. Mörsch et al. (ed.), documenta 12 education #2: Between Critical Practice and Visitor Service, Berlin and Zürich: diaphanes, 2010, pp.9-31.

  11. Due to a lack of self-reflexivity in terms of educational methodology, however, this is rarely made explicit, but is articulated instead through discursive practices: through the manner of addressing the audience, the content of the research and the context of the discussion.

  12. George E. Hein, 'The Constructivist Museum', in Eileen Hooper-Greenhill (ed.), The Educational Role of the Museum, London and New York: Routledge, 1994, pp.73-79.

  13. See Pierre Bourdieu and Alain Darbel, The Love of Art: European Art Museums and Their Public (1966, trans. Caroline Beattie and Nick Merriman), Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006.

  14. Deconstruction depends on the existence of the dominant text in order to be able to work in it. 'The practitioner of deconstruction works within a system of concepts, but with the intention of breaking it open.' Jonathan Culler, Dekonstruktion. Derrida und die poststrukturalisitische Literaturtheorie, Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1988, p.95.

  15. Deconstruction depends on the existence of the dominant text in order to be able to work in it. 'The practitioner of deconstruction works within a system of concepts, but with the intention of breaking it open.' Jonathan Culler, Dekonstruktion. Derrida und die poststrukturalisitische Literaturtheorie, Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1988, p.95.

  16. See Shoshana Felman, 'Psychoanalysis and Education: Teaching Terminable and Interminable', Yale French Studies, The Pedagogical Imperative: Teaching as a Literary Genre, no.63, 1982, pp.21-44; and Jürgen Oelkers, 'Provokation als Bildungsprinzip', in Landesverband der Kunstschulen Niedersachsen, Bielefeld: Bilden mit Kunst, 2004, pp.93-113.

  17. See Michel de Certeau, L'Invention du quotidien: Les Arts de faire, Paris: Gallimard, 1980.

  18. See Irit Rogoff, 'Looking Away - Participations in Visual Culture', in Gavin Butt (ed.), Art After Criticism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, pp.117-33; or the research project 'Tate Encounters' mentioned above.

  19. See Jacques Derrida, Voyous, Paris: Éditions Galilée, 2003.

  20. For historical examples, see C. Mörsch, 'From Oppositions to Interstices: Some Notes on the Effects of Martin Rewcastle, The First Education Officer of the Whitechapel Gallery, 1977-1983', in Karen Raney (ed.), Engage Magazine, no.15, 2004, pp.33-37; and C. Mörsch, '"To Take All That Learning and Put It Together with All That Art": Loraine Leeson's Artistic-Educative Projects in the Context of English Cultural Policies', in NGBK (ed.), Art for Change - Loraine Leeson, Berlin: Vice Versa, 2005. For examples from the 1990s, see the work by the group Kunstcoop© at the NGBK in Berlin, in ibid., pp.108-33; the project 'Stördienst' at the Museum for Modern Art Vienna, in NGBK (ed.), Kunstcoop©, Berlin: Vice Versa, 2001; and E. Sturm, 'Zum Beispiel: StörDienst und trafo.K - Praxen der Kunstvermittlung aus Wien', in Arbeitsgemeinschaft deutscher Kunstvereine (AdKV ) (ed.), Kunstvermittlung zwischen Partizipatorischen Kunstprojekten und interaktiven Kunstaktionen, Berlin: Vice Versa, 2002, pp.26-37.

  21. See http://www.ago.net/youth-council-archive (last accessed on 22 October 2010). See also J. Graham and Yasin Shadya, 'Reframing Participation in the Museum: A Syncopated Discussion', in Griselda Pollock and Joyce Zemans (ed.), Museums after Modernism: Strategies of Engagement, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007, pp.157-72.

  22. N. Sternfeld, 'Unglamorous Tasks', op. cit.

  23. See http://radical.temp.si/history/ (last accessed on 25 October 2010).

  24. As the Edith Russ Site describes itself, 'The focus is on the content of the artwork and technology's influence on shaping and defining artistic ideas. Beyond the programme of discussions and presentations, we will also hold exhibitions intended to address subjects which are socially relevant and future-oriented.' The exhibition programme, which is largely publicly funded, frequently takes into consideration queer, feminist and media-activist positions. See http://www.edith-russ-haus.de/index.php/Kunstvermittlung/Kunstvermittlung?userlang=en (last accessed on 25 October 2010).

  25. See Pen Dalton, The Gendering of Art Education, Buckingham and Philadelphia, PA: Open University Press, 2001.

  26. See, for example, the consequences of the invitation to the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination to conduct a workshop with the title 'Disobedience Makes History' for Tate Modern (January 2010). The group 'Liberate Tate' came out of the workshop, which in turn used activist strategies learned in the workshop to denounce the employment and sponsoring practices of Tate itself. See http://www.frieze.com/blog/entry/unhappy_birthday/ (last accessed on 25 October 2010). Another example is the discussions that arose about the exhibition and event series 'C-Words' by the group Platform at the Arnolfini in Bristol, where the art institution itself became the centre of attention as a polluting factor. See http://blog.platformlondon.org/content/c-words-ripples-continuing (last accessed on 25 October 2010).

  27. The activities and results of the project have been gathered in two volumes: Ayse Gülec, Claudia Hummel, C. Mörsch, Sonja Parzefall, Ulrich Schötker and Wanda Wieczorek (ed.), documenta 12 education 1: Engaging Audiences, Opening Institutions. Methods and Strategies in Education at documenta 12, Berlin and Zürich: diaphanes, 2009; and C. Mörsch et al. (ed.), documenta 12 education 2, op. cit.

  28. It would be interesting to investigate whether and which long-term changes might be effected by a project like the Youth Council on the institutional policy and the structures of the NGO by 'Tate Encounters' in Tate Britain, or by the Edgware Road Project of the Serpentine Gallery, which should also be mentioned in this context. See http://www.serpentinegallery.org/2009/06/edgware_road. html (last accessed on 25 October 2010).

  29. For the deconstructive approach of 'Hatching Ideas', the children and young people's programme at documenta 12, see C. Hummel, 'What Does aushecken - Hatching Ideas - Mean?', in A. Gülec et al., documenta 12 education 1, op. cit.

  30. Andrea Phillips, 'Education Aesthetics', in Paul O'Neill and Mick Wilson (ed.), Curating and the Educational Turn, London and Amsterdam: Open Editions and de Appel, 2010, pp.83-96.

  31. Simon Sheikh, 'Letter to Jane (Investigation of a Function)', in ibid., pp.61-75.

  32. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, 'Can the Subaltern Speak?', in Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman (ed.), Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory, Hemel Hempstead: Harester Wheatsheaf, 1994, pp.66-111.

  33. Since the term 'education' is now in vogue, curators and artists increasingly refer to themselves as educators, implying that their practice is already educative, since it is already a mediating practice.

  34. See G.C. Spivak, The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues (ed. Sarah Harasym), New York and London: Routledge, 1990, p.9.

  35. N. Sternfeld, 'Unglamorous Tasks', op. cit.

  36. Jacques Rancière, The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation (trans. Kristin Ross), Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991.

  37. Ruth Sonderegger, 'Institutionskritik? Zum politischen Alltag der Kunst und zur alltäglichen Politik ästhetischer Praktiken. Symposium of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Ästhetik', paper given at the conference 'Ästhetik und Alltagserfahrung' at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, 2 October 2008.

  38. The symposium was organised by schnittpunkt, an exhibition theory and practice network. See http://www.schnitt.org (last accessed on 25 October 2010).

  39. J. Graham, 'Spanners in the Spectacle', op. cit.

  40. Ibid.