Institutional Critique emerged in the late 1960’s as a means for artists to systemically investigate questionable practices by museums and galleries. As museums operated as opaque governing bodies, many artists sought to expose the exploitative and suppressive mechanics practiced by these institutions. Although the movement received much critique itself due to many of the artists eventually going back to museums, its fundamental purpose is still relevant today as many art institutions still engage in suspect practices in their acquisition of art and treatment of artists all while allowing corporate donations to influence curating decisions.
As artists have a long history of displacement due to gentrification, many museums have begun to offer housing in the form of artist residencies. What results in some of these agreements is a transaction of art for living and working space. Yet, this situation has the potential to be another form of exploitation by museums where they are able to turn a profit on the art over the living and working expenses of each artist.
Art+Haus serves as a critical proposal for residency models that require museum ownership of the artist’s work. The design creates an open platform that exhibits the conflict between modes of living and working under exploitative practices. By leveraging the similarities of artist studio and museum floor plans, the system creates a gallery with unlimited configurations. The design questions the boundary between live-work relationships where the artists lives space becomes involved in the production of art as a performance and spectacle.