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<eyebeam><blast> Alexander Dorner
Alexander Dorner etc....
"everything is inbetween"
I would like to mention a few pioneering examples of curatorial
positions of inbetweenness which I find relevant at present. They all
contributed to the mutation of existing museums and exhibition
structures but also pushed the boundaries and towards the invention of
new interdisciplinary structures . In the words of Sandberg,former
director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam: "With the courage of the
unacademic and the radical, according to the necessities of contemporary
Felix Feneon has in the early 20th century bridged different fields and
has sought continuously for new forms of display and mediation. He made
projects with daily newspapers as it temporarily seemed the most
appropriate space but he also founded his own magazines. He published
books and organized exhibitions . Feneon defined the curator as a
Passerelle (pedestrian bridge) between the artist and the world.
Harry Graf Kessler also pursued mobile strategies of display and
mediation. He was a junction-maker between artists, architects and
writers. From time to time he organized exhibitions to put the art of
his salons into a larger social and political context. Kessler also
pursued publishing activities parallel to his exhibition organizing.
Herwarth Walden was a similarly open mediator between the disciplines.
He founded the art school "Der Sturm", his own publishing house, and ran
an exhibition space as an open hybrid laboratory for small exhibitions.
In 1913 Walden organized the first German Salon of Autumn, with more
than 360 works by eighty of the most important artists of the time.
Alexander Dorner who ran the Hannover Museum in the 1920s defined the
museum as a "Kraftwerk". He invited artists such as El Lissitzky to
realise a contemporary , dynamic display of a museum on the move. Dorner
emphasizes in his writings "Ueberwindung der Kunst" (going beyond art),
that he intended to dynamize the often too static museum and to
transform the neutral white cube in order to assume a more heterogenous
space. Dorner succeeded in pseudo-neutral space of the 19th century
which was still prevailing and to get to what to functions which
accompany a museum today. The importance of Dorner lies in the fact
that he anticipated very early the urgency of issues such as:
-the museum in permanent transformation within dynamic parameters
-a dynamic concept of art history, as John Dewey wrote, it is through
Dorner that we are "amidst a dynamic centre of profound
-The museum as an oscillation between object and process: "The
processual idea has penetrated our system of certainties" (Dorner).
-the multi-identarian museum
-the museum on the move
-the museum as a risk-taking pioneer: to act and not to wait!
-the museum as a locus of crossings of art and life.....
-the museum as a laboratory
-the museum as a relative and not an absolute truth or in the words of
"every museum in one truth which is surrounded by many other truths."
-the elastic museum which means: both elastic display and elastic
-bridges between the artists, the museum and other disciplines.
In Dorner's own words: "We cannot understand the forces which are
effective in the visual production of today if we do not have a look at
other fields of modern life"
Hans Ulrich Obrist
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