Dr Vlad Morariu is a researcher, lecturer, and curator who joined Middlesex University as a fractional member of staff in September 2016 and became a full-time member of staff in May 2017. Prior to this, Vlad was an Associate Lecturer in Cultural and Historial Studies at Loughborough University (2014-2017). He was awarded his PhD in Contemporary Art History and Theory at Loughborough University in 2014, with a thesis exploring the philosophical background of art practices of institutional critique. Prior to this he studied systematic philosophy at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University and Humboldt University Berlin. Vlad’s work investigates interferences between visual cultures, philosophical discourses (the analytic philosophy of language, the institutional theory of art, post-structuralism, and critical theory), institutional analyses, exhibition histories and art and design practices.
Vlad has published a range of book chapters, journal papers and art magazine articles. In 2016 he was AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellow, with a project that revisited Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing’s reading of phenomenology, and its importance within the practices of the therapeutic communities at Kingsley Hall and Archway. He was an International Fellow for Art and Theory at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen Innsbruck (2013-2014) and Erste Stiftung/tranzit.org Writer in Residence at Museums Quartier in Vienna (2012). Between 2004 and 2008 he was part of the organizing team of the Periferic Biennial for Contemporary Art.
English, Romanian, French, German
Learning & Teaching Interests
History and Theory of Art and Design; Aesthetics; Critical Theory; 20th Century Philosophy; Subcultures and the Sonic Underground; Social Etiology of Mental Health
Vlad is Module Leader for FSH 3930 Critical and Contextual Research Project
Research Outputs & Interests
Vlad’s PhD thesis, titled 'Institutional Critique. A Philosophical Investigation of Its Conditions and Possibilities', explored the intellectual history of institutional critique and investigated the conditions and possibilities of a third, ‘new phase’. His position is constructed upon a Derridean conceptual corpus (he employs concepts such as undecidability, frame/parergon, justice/law), which is used to account for the symbiotic relations between cultural institutions and critical cultural practices. With a focus on the 1960s art and design practices, and their critique of ‘cultural confinement’, he has opened up his research further by looking at the structural connections between cultural institutions and what Erving Goffman called ‘total institutions’ (prisons, asylums for the mentally ill, boarding schools). His most recent project revisited the work of Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing, initiator of the therapeutic communities at Kingsley Hall (1965) and Archway (1972), and founder of the London Anti-University. The project specifically investigated the influence of philosophical phenomenology (J.P. Sartre, M. Heidegger) in Laing’s account of the schizophrenic patient’s ‘experience’, and the ways in which his practice intersected with that of counter-establishment artists in the articulation of alternative institutions.
Vlad’s research interests include:
Exhibition histories and art and design practices critical of cultural institutions
Framework analyses of cultural institutions
Art and design approaches to mental health
Fashion philosophy, Fashion aesthetics and their shaping of subcultures (punk, rock and heavy-metal)
Philosophical approaches to the languages of art and design and politics
Morariu, V. (2016). ‘Transitory Erasures: Subjects of Institutional Critique’ in Oberprantacher, A. & Siclodi, A. (eds.), Subjectivation. Political Theory in Contemporary Practices, Palgrave Macmillan
Morariu, V. (ed.) (2014). [Parerga] Frames of Art/Institutional Critique. Reader published on the occasion of 'Dissent and Certainty', Kunstpavillon Innsbruck, 2014
Morariu, V. et al. (2014). Giant Step. Reflections and Essays on Institutional Critique. Bari: vessel art projects.
Seidl, W. and Morariu, V. (2013). ‘History, Art and Money: On Constructing a Corporate Art Collection in Central and Eastern Europe’, Idea arts + society, Issue 42, Cluj: Idea, 98–105.
Morariu, V. (2012). 'Crisis and Critique of Art Institutions: Poststructuralism and Performance Art', in Jeffery, B & Marino, M. (eds.), Crisis, Rupture and Anxiety: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Historical and Contemporary HumanChallenges, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 114-127
[Parerga] Frames of Art/Institutional Critique, within Dissent and Certainty, Kunstpavillon Innsbruck, Austria (2014)
(with vessel) Giant Step(2012): series of workshops, conferences and symposia organized in collaboration with Mostyn (Lladudno), van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), and Galeria Labyrinth (Lublin)
Beneath the Remains: Translations of Estrangement and the Politics of Survival, arttransponder Kunstraum, Berlin (2009)
Funded Research & Knowledge Exchange Projects
Engagement & Impact
Vlad is a Board member of ANCF - The Romanian Administration for National Cultural Fund - an autonomous public institution in Romania, which is the main public funding body for contemporary culture and heritage.