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Posts Tagged ‘autonomy’

Play Van Abbe

November 22nd, 2009 by Charles Esche

By Charles Esche

Here is a text, not yet published, that I hope gives a little background into the thinking behind the project

Why Play? Why Van Abbe?

“it’s all about the thing itself”, he said in Dutch, arguing that what we are doing with the Van Abbemuseum and its collection transgresses the rules of art. He was a fellow museum director, this man who confronted me, but he deserved a hearing. “I honestly don’t think it is” I replied “it’s about the context at least as much, possibly more – and as museums we should to give people a chance to make their own mind up.” He offered me a lift in his car, but we didn’t talk about art and context anymore. It seemed our two points of view couldn’t be reconciled, maybe because they emerge at different historical moments and in response to different understandings of what art represents in the world at large. (more…)

Why we have to ask questions and keep annoying people

December 11th, 2008 by Charles Esche

Nice (edited) quote from Brian Holmes:

“What we really need is to spend a lot more time asking each other whether our cultural fictions – our architecture and images, our hierarchies and ambitions and ideas and narratives – are any good for us, whether they can be used in an interesting way, and what kind of subjectivity they produce what kind of society they elicit. To do that effectively, we also need to invent new fictions. Only by imagining different possible realities can we engage in the deconstruction and reconstruction of the complex machines that configure ourselves and our society and make them work in the specific ways they do.

Art can offer a chance to society to reflect together on the imaginary figures it depends upon for it’s very consistency, it’s self-understanding. But this is exactly where our societies are failing, and failing miserably, as a result of the way artistic invention and display has been instituted as a central economic function over the last twenty years”

There is lots more from the book “unleashing the collective phantoms” that is a lot about museums and there possible role. He is also very interesting on the need for a new understanding of autonomy but I think this quote says most about why we have to push our audience to bear what they don’t want. We have another kind of responsibility because we are concerned with the imagination.

I have the book and will be happy to share more of it….


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