The Museum of Arte Útil is a collaboration between the artist Tania Bruguera, the Queens Museum of Art, New York and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. The Museum of Arte Útil is the result of Tania Bruguera's decade of research into a concept that emphasizes effectiveness and implementation over representation, looking at historical and contemporary examples of alternative strands in socially informed art practice.
"Útil" as a term refers to something being useful. But it goes further than the English translation, encompassing the idea of a tool or device. Bruguera states that "Arte Útil" moves beyond a propositional format, into one that actively creates, develops and implements new functionalities to benefit society at large."
The project will comprise research, an online platform, an association of Arte Útil practitioners, a series of public projects, a lab presentation at the Queens Museum of Art beginning in February 2013, culminating in the transformation of the old building of the Van Abbemuseum into the Museum of Arte Útil in the Fall of 2013 and a publication. The aim is to present a survey of past and present projects that are rooted in the notion of art's use to its users and to society at large. Central to the project's various forms is this open call.
The notion of what constitutes Arte Útil has been arrived at via a set of criteria that Bruguera and the participating museums' curators have formulated. These criteria will set the parameters of the project and its working methodology. Arte Útil projects should:
1- Propose new uses for art within society
2- Challenge the field within which it operates (civic, legislative, pedagogical, scientific, economic, etc)
3- Be 'timing specific,' responding to current urgencies
4- Be implemented and function in real situations
5- Replace authors with initiators and spectators with users
6- Have practical, beneficial outcomes for its users
7- Pursue sustainability whilst adapting to changing conditions
8- Re-establish aesthetics as a system of transformation
We are inviting the public to submit information on past or ongoing projects that align with these criteria. Submitted projects should meet as many of these criteria as possible. The selected projects will be listed on www.arteutil.net, to be launched in February and will be considered for inclusion in the artist association, the exhibition at the Queens Museum, the Van Abbemuseum, and/or the publication. Projects can be submitted by anyone, from any field, and need not be submitted by the initiators of the project.
An open call form can be accessed and submitted at www.arteutil.net, where further information on the project can be found.
The deadline for project submissions is February 15th, 2013.
Tania Bruguera, Arte Útil (Useful Art), 2010. Sculpture installed in bathroom. Ceramic, water supply tube, flange bolts, silicone caulk, black paint. Permanent collection Queens Museum of Art. Courtesy of Studio Bruguera and Queens Museum of Art.