Monday, May 07, 2018

Three grumpy notes on the modern museum experience:

1. Far too many installation and video display shows take up gigantic amounts of gallery real estate far beyond their artistic merit. 1 artist (half the time skating on the craft of others) vs 50 who have might have displayed aesthetically worthy work. This habit shuts down, rather than enhances, the access of artists who are not experienced at playing the curatorial game- and those artists are so often well-connected, wealthy and all too often, facile.

2. Digital art is fine to the extent that it is emotionally and intellectually powerful: but digital art has uncounted outlets, as near as the screen you're reading this on. I love all kinds of museums, high, middle, and low, but the video- more video -MORE VIDEO has turned into a boring, repetitive, extremely didactic and emotionless experience, one easily supassed by curating for yourself at home on the screen you are using now. It should take up the precious resource of a museum gallery when A) it is truly outstanding, not merely visually loud, and B) aesthetically requires physical space to display, not merely insisting on the imprimatur of artiness that musuems convey.

3. If you show short narrative video, fine. Do it in wholly separate, theater were people can sit comfortably and it is not a horrible distraction from all other kinds of visual art nearby. Otherwise I assume your point is to shit on all other forms of art, which at points in history is fine, but don't pretend anything about this is transgressive. It's an old, old, old game now.

Open a movieplex, make a you-tube channel, sell an app, incentivize less lucky, more creative people make your work for you, install slightly unusual drywall arrangements, and make your t-shirts, like any normal capitalist operation. Fine. Just stop taking up so much space needed by any number of people who have something to show we'd all benefit from seeing.