Edward Winkleman: There’s a bit of chatter online these days about the move away from the consideration/appreciation of “art” as an object into the realm of “art” as an experience (which parallels a cultural shift toward the elevation of the now above other more traditional and contemplative [i.e, time-consuming] arcs within narratives). Museums have recently made a big deal about their attempts to accommodate that shift for their visitors, but I haven’t heard much about galleries systematically changing their model to do the same, at least not in a way that contributes to their bottom line. Your thoughts on how galleries respond to this?
Elizabeth Dee: This is an interesting question. Glenn Lowry recently said the 20th Century museum was about collections and the 21st Century museum is about experiences. Essentially, even MoMA has hopped on the event culture trend, spearheading a big top initiative and engaging artists as the cultural entertainment. The massive over-programming of the museum may help make museums relevant to popular culture, but with regard to their collaboration with contemporary artists to produce these events and offer this cultural content, the museums are fueling the fire of a “here and now” mentality which is having an adverse pressure on artists. For instance, if an artist is performing at MoMA, attending conferences, panels and lectures, going to benefits as a complimentary guest sitting next to their collectors, traveling to art fairs and biennials, it’s very hard for artists to gain perspective on their long-term career narrative.
Excerpt from a conversation about the changing role of art galleries on Edward Winkleman’s blog.
As men who find this behavior disgusting, we need to speak up about how it’s NOT ok. See also another excellent post Tim shared this morning: