Between 1987 and 1997, Dia’s commitment to critical debate was exemplified by an ongoing series of programs titled Discussions in Contemporary Culture. Distinguished artists, scholars, and writers were invited to address a specific topic; each program encompassed panel presentations, individual lectures, and a subsequent publication. Barbara Kruger and Phil Mariani’s Remaking History (1989), Group Material’s Democracy (1990), and Lynne Cooke and Peter Wollen’s Visual Display (1995), to name just a few projects, are regarded today as highly precursory takes on the conditions informing present-day cultural and artistic production.
Reinstated in fall 2012, Discussions in Contemporary Culture provides a platform for scholarly and artistic dialogue, examining questions of urgent cultural relevance. In 2013 and 2014, the series will look into the status of the monument in global culture, as well as the possibilities of redefining the concept of monumentality, which intimately connects art with history and ideology.