In the 1950s in linguistics, in literary theory,  and ethnology  started to examine the concept of performativity from various aspects. Later on cultural and gender studies have also picked upon this interdisciplinary discourse, which is now posited by drama theory  and sociology  as a cultural model, as a “culture of performance.” The performative is understood as the constitution of meaning through acts or practices. However, not all acts are necessarily performative; imitation may lack a constitutive effect on reality. Gaining authenticity (successful social performance) in segmented societies is a complex process. The performative research method observes the conditions of meaning-production through detailed analysis of the social, spatial, structural, and physical conditions of the act, whether it is intentional or unintentional.
The aim of the performative approach to curating—that reflects on the working methodology of relational aesthetics—is to actively structure and mediate the relationship between art and its audience, as well as to reconfigure the relation between the curator and the artist (~collaboration ~curatorial). Relational works, in the Bourriaudian sense  not only ask the viewer to actively participate; they are realized this way. (~collaboration ~participation ~discursivity). Performative curatorial practices adapted the working models of relational aesthetics, inasmuch as the outcome and the processes of performative curating are likewise realized through the active participation of the artist and the viewer (~collaboration ~participation ~educational turn). Furthermore, the relational in contemporary art and curating is also a form that calls the normal modes of exhibition production and display into question (~exhibition display ~white cube ~curatorial).
To some extent, these practices rely on institutional critique, arriving in waves from the 1960s, but from a different perspective; instead of standing outside, they investigate the methods of the institution from within (~interpretation ~exhibition display ~discursivity). Whereas in the first and second wave of institutional critique, it was artists who critiqued the institutional framework, in this third wave, however, the protagonists of performative curating—and later its offshoot, “new institutionalism”  —acted to reform the institution, together with the artists.  The institution, according to this practice, it is not only the site of display, but also of production (~discursivity ~educational turn ~collaboration ~exhibition display). Artists and curators collaborate to realize the work, frequently, in the forms of events or situational interventions.  Performatively conceived exhibitions are self-reflective and employ experimental methods. Talks and discussions can be incorporated into the project as artworks (~discursivity ~educational turn ~curatorial), while artworks may take the form of exhibition decor, lighting, or labeling design and gallery furniture. Other works move around, are added, taken away, or are placed outside the institution. Performative curating is thus interested in: dialogue (“a curatorial praxis that develops together with artistic practices and reacts to former curatorial strategies”); transparency (“curatorial and artistic production strategies […] made transparent to the public”); and process (“processual artistic and curatorial strategies can draft exhibition practices which simultaneously promote, authorise and reflect”)  (~discursivity ~interpretation ~educational turn ~collaboration). Performative curatorial strategies were emboldened by the biennial boom of the 1990s, offering more opportunities to experiment with new formats beyond the bureaucratic bounds of the museum (~discursivity). However, many practitioners of this type of nomadic curatorial attitude became affiliated as directors with different European institutions, providing the opportunity to elaborate on the experience within the frame of new institutionalism. 
The concept of new institutionalism originates from social science; where it refers to researches studying the ways institutions interact with people, with other organizations, and how they affect society in general. In an art context, new institutionalism, the idea of a flexible institution, can be traced back to the activities of Alexander Dorner, director of the Landesmusuem in Hannover in the 1920s, who regularly invited then contemporary artists (such as El Lissitzky or László Moholy-Nagy) to experiment with display formats (~exhibition display). Dorner envisioned the new type of art institution as a “power station, a producer of new energy,” where the emphasis is not on the statistic museum display guarding “treasures,” but on the dynamic, experiences-based education.  New institutionalism in contemporary art signifies a self-reflexive practice that examines institutional methodologies to generate a debate in order for the art institutions to transform (~discursivity ~educational turn). It can be seen also as interiorized institutional critique, which reflects on the working methodologies of artists, and learns form the practices of artist run spaces. Artworks can take the form of either designing the institutions logo or redesigning its lobby-interior, intervene any part of its structure and communication. Catalogues are often substituted by journals, resident artists and curators give lectures, workshops; that is, everything is catered towards making artistic and institutional processes transparent as well as making dialogic and participatory reception possible (~participation). These institutions place equal emphasis on different functions—the exhibition is considered only one of the possible formats of operation, while shaping perception and the role of education are just as vital; production and presentation gain corresponding importance (~curatorial ~discursivity ~educational turn).
There are, however, also critical voices. As, for instance, Simon Sheikh have noted, institutionalized critique cannot be the same as institutional critique. It is also difficult to renew public or even public attitude. It is hard to defend experimental practices against populist political arguments—as it was demonstrated with the curtailment and closure of certain institutions practicing this paradigm, such as the Rooseum in Malmö (under Charles Esche) or Witte de With in Rotterdam (under Catherine David) or NIFCA, Nordic Institute of Contemporary Art. Another critique of the relational approach (and new institutionalism) is that it “risks setting up an unnecessary polarization between self-reflexive open-ended practices and those which do not subscribe to a ‘post-medium’ condition,” that is, they operate along mediums and methods seen as evident. 
The era of new institutionalism may be in decline along with the idea of the welfare state, but the performative could still prove to be a vital curatorial method. It may be practiced best as an independent agent, frequently collaborating with artists and occasionally with institutions, with the curator taking the same amount of existential risk as artists typically do, and identifying new methods of mediation (~collaboration). There are some recent examples in Budapest for this working method: for instance, Dinamo, Impex, or KMKK (Two artists, two curators) (~curatorial ~discursivity).These spaces and initiations showed several resemblances to independent spaces established by artists, and, at the same time, they shaped the experimental modes of the curatorial. The methods of art institutions still do not count as evident. A higher level of role-consciousness, solidarity, and, consequently, new configurations of cooperation is desirable in such a situation. Reflection and self-reflection on the framework one is working is still a significant factor.
References and Further Readings
Alexander, Jeffrey C.
2004 (2003) “The Cultural Pragmatics of Social Performance: Between Ritual and Rationality.
Blurred Boundaries: Rethinking Culture in the Context of Interdisciplinary Practices.”
Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, 13-14 December, 2003. Sociological Theory. No. 22.4. 2004: 527 - 573.
1962 (1955) How To Do Things With Words. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
 J.L. Austin1962 (1955) How To Do Things With Words. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
 Roland Barthes 1975 (1973) The Pleasure of the Text. Trans. Richard Miller. New York: Hill and Wang
 Milton Singer 1972 When a Great Tradition Modernizes – An Anthropological Approach to Modern Civilization. New York, Washington, London: Praeger Publishers.
 Judith Butler. Gender Trouble – Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. London-New York: Routledge, 1990.
 Erika Fischer-Lichte 2008 (2004) The Transformative Power of Performance – A New Aesthetics. trans. Saskya Iris Jain. London-New York.
 J.C. Alexander 2004 (2003) “The Cultural Pragmatics of Social Performance: Between Ritual and Rationality. Blurred Boundaries: Rethinking Culture in the Context of Interdisciplinary Practices.” Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, 13-14 December, 2003. Sociological Theory. No. 22.4. 2004: 527 - 573. As well as Erika Fischer-Lichte, Ibid.
 Cf. Erika Fischer Lichte, Ibid, 26.
 Nicolas Bourriaud 2002 (1998) Relational Aesthetics. Dijon: Les Presses du Réel.
 Jonas Ekeberg, ed. 2003 New Institutionalism. Oslo, Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Claire Doherty 2004 “The Institution is Dead! Long Live the Institution! Contemporary Art and New Institutionalism.” engage 15/2004, situations.org.uk. Web. Nov. 3. 2012. http://www.engage.org/readmore/..%5Cdownloads%5C152E25D29_15.%20Claire%20Doherty.pdf
 The first wave of institutional critique as practiced by artists focused on the institutional system of art (such as the Art Worker’s Coalition: equal opportunities, fee), while the second wave expanded to analyze institutional frameworks beyond art (women rights and anti-war activism, post-colonial critique). The form of institutional critique could be an intervention, a critical piece of writing, as well as art policy activism. See also Alexander Alberro, Blake Stimson, ed 2009 Institutional Critique – An Anthology of Artsists’ Writings. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, as well as Gerald Raunig, Gene Ray, eds 2009 Art and Contemporary Critical Practice: Reinventing Institutional Critique. London: MayFly Books. mayflybooks.org. Web. 2013. jún. 10. http://mayflybooks.org/?page_id=20
 Maria Lind 2000 “Learning from Art and Artists.” Gavin Wade ed .Curating in the 21st Century. Walsall, West Midlands: The New Art Gallery: 87–102.
 Katharina Schleiben 2002 “Curating Per-Form.” Kunstverein München, Spring; kunstverein-muenchen.de. Kunstverein München. Web. 10. Aug. 2007. Original but no longer working link. Cache: http://web.archive.org/web/20070810031230/http://www.kunstverein-muenchen.de/03_ueberlegungen_considerations/en_performative_curating.pdf
 Claire Doherty, Ibid.
 Hans Ulrich Obrist 2006 “Participation Lasts Forever.” Shumon Basar and Markus Miessen eds Did Someone Say Participate? An Atlas of Spatial Practice, Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.
 Simon Sheikh 2012 “Burning from the Inside. New Institutionalism Revisited.” Beatrice von Bismarck, Jörn Schafaff, Thomas Weski eds. Cultures of the Curatorial. Berlin: Sternberg Press: 361–372.
 Alex Farquharson. “Bureaux de change.” Frieze No. 101. September 2006. p. 157 and p. 159.
 Claire Doherty, Ibid.