A video installation: two projections of groups of people on white walls with the projecting equipment in the centre of the room
Museum and me, Liu Ding, 2011
Video installation

The ritual encounter with an artwork – be it in a museum, gallery, private or public space – has evolved dramatically over the last century: from the contemplation of an object, to immersive installation, performance or participation.

Nicholas Bourriaud’s term ‘relational aesthetics’ referred specifically to work that took social relations as its basic medium. This kind of work usually took place within the walls of the designated art space, and operated in relation to the behavioural rules of that particular mindset (even if working against them). What, then, does it mean when an artist’s work intervenes in the social and political relationships that exist in the real world of everyday life? How can this be brought into the museum, how can it be displayed and how does it relate to the social rituals engendered by the architecture and rules of the specialist space.

Inside/Outside: Materialising the Social will examine the ways in which these codes and boundaries have been tested in the work of a number of different artists in the past decades, and how they have been theorised by key thinkers and writers.

Participants include Leo Asemota, Jelili Atiku, Claire Bishop, Katy Fitzpatrick, Abigail Hunt, Shannon Jackson, Suzanne Lacy, Lin Chi-Wei, Liu Ding, Mark Miller, Kieren Reed, Alex Schady, Susan Sheddan, Emma Smith and Dorothea von Hantelmann.

Part of the series The Tanks: Art in Action