April 18, 2008  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd

I like an early critique.

The blog is in BETA and today is only second day of posts, but one thing is obvious – the museum blog POV is not behind the times. As a matter of fact it fits perfectly into today’s corporate zeitgeist. The one that cannibalizes that which makes fun of it, attempting to create a new kind of hip.

Today’s entry is an interview with Lou Huang, a designer who two years ago in a tongue-in-cheek gesture planted himself in SFMOMA as a piece of art (kinda like a Duane Hansen) and filmed it.

Intervene in our space. We can take it. We’re not stodgy. We are web 2.0.”

Tim Buckwalter is not exactly wrong, and, “snarkiness aside,” he does neatly & immediately frame the problem or question of the possibility of an individual–or even collective!–agent trying to work and be effective under late capital. That’s all of our concern, isn’t it?

On the one hand, it could be difficult to read ANYTHING a monolithic institution does as other than ‘corporate zeitgeist’ self-servingness, but then, who and what does the institution serve? The place isn’t ONLY a repository for other people’s money in the shape of artworks, is it?

Healthy institutional distrust aside, this is exactly the problem that will continue to interest me as the blog unfolds and works to make visible the line between, or the convergence between, The Institution and The Individual.

Inside (staff) and around (the nonstaff public) an institution like SFMOMA is a collection of individuals trying to make a go of understanding how art can be or is effective in the world, and trying to further its agency. Lou Huang is asking one form of that question. The institutional–and personal, my own–intention in this case is to hear more from that individual about the set of curiosities that made him want to pose it.

Looking forward to more—

1 Comment

  1. Peter Samis Says:

    “make visible the line between, or the convergence between, The Institution and The Individual.” And there is no one Individual. There are the individuals in the community, those who enter the galleries, often without knowing what to expect or how to process what they see, those who self-identify with the art world and keep up with these things, some of whom also happen to work in the Museum (yes, capital–or is it Kapital?–M). Suzanne, I found your choice of “Man Leaning on Wall” particularly interesting as a first post because it is so clearly about the edge where museum meets community. It’s about testing the permeability of that fortress facade. I think the insitutional intention should be to hear from LOTS of individuals. Thanks for opening the door.

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