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Institute of Contemporary Art Miami


Ulf Wuggenig Workshop

ICA Ideas
Sat, Apr 2, 2016

ICA Miami welcomes Austrian sociologist Ulf Wuggenig to ICA IDEAS for a special presentation and practice-oriented workshop on the sociological approach to painting. The presentation will take place on Friday, April 1 at 7pm, followed by an intimate, interactive workshop that will further explore previously discussed concepts on Saturday, April 2 at 2pm. Wuggenig’s contribution to ICA IDEAS is in conjunction with the exhibition I Stand, I Fall by the conceptual artist John Miller at ICA Miami.

Much like a game, the field of art is based upon shared interests. As theorized by the late French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, art’s participants—artists, critics, dealers, curators—obey rules to achieve common goals. The abilities to question and reformulate these rules are present in Bourdieu’s theory of the game, allowing participants the opportunity to reject outdated conventions, create new styles and boost one’s own position in play.

Artists, critics and dealers have long questioned the mechanics of how the art field is run and the impetuses for change. In the 19th century, for example, Édouard Manet’s radical approach to painting not only created a new realistic style, but also revolutionized the systems behind art exhibition, promotion and marketing. Does painting today still have this power to provoke “symbolic revolutions” and rewrite the rules of the art field?

Using Bourdieu’s lectures on Manet from 1998 to 2000 as reference points, Wuggenig will talk about art’s ability to change the rules of the game. The works of Manet and John Miller will serve as examples.

About Ulf Wuggenig

Ulf Wuggenig is a Professor of Sociology of Art and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany. He is the Director of Kunstraum at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, an exhibition space for contemporary art co-founded with Beatrice von Bismarck and Diethelm Stoller. At the Kunstraum, Wuggenig oversaw seminal exhibitions including Services (1994), initiated by Andrea Fraser and Helmut Draxler; Import/Export Funk Office (1996/97) by Renée Green; and The Open Public Library (1993/94) by Clegg & Guttmann. Recent projects include collaborations with artists Stefan Römer and Melanie Gilligan. Recent publications include: Art in the Periphery of the Center (2015) co-edited with Christoph Behnke, Cornelia Kastelan and Valérie Knoll; The Artfield: A Study of Actors and Institutions of Contemporary Art (2012), co-edited with Heike Munder, Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich; and “Valuation Beyond the Market: On Symbolic and Economic Value in Contemporary Art (2013). Wuggenig currently lives and works in Lüneburg and Hannover, Germany.