Isabelle Sully: For Public Record: On the Artwork as Lobby

Advisor/tutor: Marina Vishmidt
Arnhem, June 2017


The main aim of this thesis is to readdress the historical paradox of complicity facing institutionally critical artistic practices in the current day. These paradoxical practices often make use of institutional support in order to critically question its very conditions, thereby appearing contradictory by association. This situation will be readdressed through the logic of the lobby. The lobby will be discussed both in architectural terms and in its political application, that is, to lobby, arguing for a relocation of critique to the edge of the frame – where the simultaneously public and private threshold of the lobby resides. The discussion will travel through a determination of the art institution as both a cultural and administrative body, attempting to find a way in which artistic critique and institutional policy could be held and enacted in common. This proposition will be defined in the methodology of the ‘artwork as lobby’.