The Bureau for the Validation of Art

At The Bureau for the Validation of Art, the Officials offer artists the opportunity to submit their work for Validation.

Using a preset series of questionnaires aimed at The Artist, and An Audience, along with the Officials’ own assessment, and using abundant quantities of paperwork, the officials make a decision on whether the proposed work is Valid as Art.

The Officials validate validated work with a VALIDATED stamp, and a docket is presented to the artist recording the process and outcome.


Video: The Officials validating Hilary Powell at Bank Job, Walthamstow as part of Art Licks 2018.


The Bureau has performed Validations at Art Licks London, 2018 and Social Works? Live in Manchester 2019. We were scheduled to perform in New York at Grace Exhibition Space during lockdown and instead performed via Zoom from Stroud. The BFTVOA will be continuing it’s vital work in the UK with the postponed Offbeat Festival in Oxford (2021).

With thanks to Dan Edelstyn & Hilary Powell at Bank Job for the film.


The Importance of Validation

A Visit by the Officials from the Bureau for the Validation of Art provokes conversation around who gets to decide what is valid and what isn’t, the importance of validation processes, and the socio-psychological importance of bureaucratic and other forms of ritual in defining who we are, and what we are and are not able to do.

In the Validation process we offer the chance to playfully experience an alternative infrastructure in which artists become adjudicators, simultaneously parodying and embodying the possibility of being the authors of our own validation.

The Officials are available to perform Validations at private or public events. Contact if your space or venue is presenting work that requires Validation. You can also alert the Officials if you believe unvalidated work is being presented to the unwitting public at large.