I used to like Vanabbe Museum; I don’t think I will go there anymore, at least in the near future (I can make exception for its library, though).
Why such a flip-flop?
Because, I feel that the museum is increasingly
my art experiences.
Art is a delicate matter; it has to please, but has to shock too; or rather it’s me who seeks both its affirmative, almost soothing, functions as well as mind-provoking and soul-refreshing capacities. In any case, my experience is my own achievement. The insights I am gaining are the results of my own labor. They can be ‘given’ to me. I surely appreciate a helping hand when working, but this hand should not alienate me from my work, and deprive from its results.
And this is exactly what the museum crew is doing at the moment, I am afraid. There is just too much of them, too much on my way, too much in between me and the art(ists). They have been producing their commentary before I am able to have my own opinion first. In fact, they are not not letting me to have my own opinion in a first place. They offer the answer without listening the questions, and often presuming that there will be the questions (which is not always the case).
This is not about art anymore, it’s about a meta-art of some sort, a strange cocktail of curatorship, (pseudo) political activism, and interior design. Art and artists in this new context are simply irrelevant (not surprisingly that you see their names names only at the very bottom of the museum website, while the top register is crowded with their the crew’s own (very worldly) ‘conversations’ about art.
I am not against this meta-art per se; it’s an interesting emerging sport, that may have its own heroes and champions. But I want to have a choice, to watch it or not, and if I do want I might go somewhere else (for example, to a place where I can compare different curatorial approaches, by the different teams, from the different museums, art events, new emerging art spaces etc). I don’t want to watch these meta-artistic exercises in Vanabbe, though (but sadly I don’t have much choice there anymore).
I expect any meditation with art be present in a museum, but be invisible; like window glass that enables the viewing by being totally transparent itself. The more transparent the better, we do appreciate clean windows, not the dirty ones. We appreciate clean air, not the eyes-eating smoke when we want to look at the landscape (or urbanscape).
Until the fog dissolves, до свиданья.