Experiencing art within, alongside, and away from the museum

Anna Kharsani in her lecture refered to artistic practices that challenge the institutional framework of museums.


Lecture by Anna Kharsani

October 19, 2019
Odesa, Ukraine


Anna Harsanyi is a curator, arts manager and educator. Her participatory projects and exhibitions have taken place within public and alternative spaces, exploring themes of memory, cultural identity, and collective experience. Harsanyi is the co-curator of In the Historical Present, an exhibition marking The New School’s centennial which features commissioned projects exploring the often hidden or dormant histories within the institution. She recently completed a project presenting artist engagements with the historic Essex Street Market in New York’s Lower East Side. She co-curated Hot & Cold: Revolution in the Present Tense, a public art project in Timișoara and Cluj, Romania which presented three artist projects about the 25th anniversary of the revolution that ended communism. In 2014, she was part of the team of curators who organized No Longer Empty’s exhibition Through the Parlor in a former beauty salon. Most recently, Harsanyi worked as the project manager for the Guggenheim Social Practice Initiative at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and she currently teaches at The New School.

Social practice is in its nature a medium that eschews institutional conditions. As a form that takes shape in various interdisciplinary and intangible ways, the ability of museums to be able to feature this type of work within their existing structures remains challenging. Guggenheim Social Practice (GSP) was an initiative that aimed at fostering new forms of public engagement through collaborations with artists. Anna Harsanyi’s talk was feature past GSP projects and the complex ways in which their development, implementation and evaluation intersected with existing institutional frameworks. In addition, Anna  discussed past curatorial projects in non-art spaces in order to consider ways that art can be experienced outside of an art context.

In her lecture, Anna Kharsani reflects on the nature of institutions, their potential and limitations. About the challenges that the curator is faced while trying to reconsider the hierarchy and position of the museum in the social life of the city, as well as the methods by which art works with the division of society.


The lecture was held in the within the Art Prospect Intensive. Organizers: CEC ArtsLink in a collaboration with Open Place Platform for Interdisciplinary Practice (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Oberliht Association (Chisinau, Moldova).