The debate about art institutions is not a new one. Last year it again flared up with the public ambition of three Flemish municipal theatres to become an institution. The issue also exists at the level of policy. The question of possible and desirable roles for institutions has been the subject of legislative work in multiple legislatures. In the run-up to its new policy memorandum on culture, the current Flemish government is also pushing the institutions as mainstays.
We brought together artists, theorists and directors from all over Europe to discuss the possibility of a different artistic institution. One that would be more permeable to its own political or socially engaged artistic program and that would finally do what it preaches. This symposium was called the Fantastic Institution.