In December 2013 the old building of the Van Abbemuseum reopened as the Museum of Arte Útil, a place where art’s use value and social function is put to the test. The Museum of Arte Útil, initiated by artist Tania Bruguera, presented an archive of over two hundred case studies that imagine, create and implement beneficial outcomes by producing tactics that change how we act in society.
The case studies were presented through the lens of seven strategies: ‘Use it Yourself’, ‘Institutional Repurpose’, ‘A-Legal’, ‘Space Hijack’, ‘Open Access’, ‘Legislative Change’ and ‘Reforming Capital’. Within the museum a number of artists worked in the institution and the city over a sustained period of time, whilst many of the live projects related directly to Eindhoven, through partnerships with local organisations.
How can we ‘use’ the museum? How can it become a civic institution for production and output? Through this project, the ambition was to transform the museum into a Social Power Plant, where spectators become users and collective, transformative energy can be generated for use in the world outside. The concept and physical realisation of the Social Power Plant was arrived at in close collaboration with Construct Lab, a collective of designers, architects and artists. The case studies from the archive provided the fuel for the Social Power Plant, the presentations are a toolkit for users to re-purpose tactics and methodologies to their own ends.
View the projects website: www.museumarteutil.net