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Re: <eyebeam><blast> Art and Media

Re: Museum, a great deal depends on the demographics. In the United
States, the museums are more popular than ever, in part due to the
production of spectacles and accompanying connoisseurship that began in
the 1980s.  As a result, viewers might know, say, about King Tut, but
nothing else about Egypt (although NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art has
done an excellent job on combining research and exhibition in their
Egyptian sections). 

Museums provide an area of dissemination or filtering, not otherwise
available. They obviously, for the most part, subscribe to modernist and
enlightenment ethos in their styles of presentation.

If the cultural symbolic is up for grabs, at least in the US, museums
have got a role to play - look at MOMA's continuous shaping of art
attitudes, vis-a-vis Pollock and other abstract expressionists, or the
uses to which the Whitney Biennial have been put.

And again in the States, politically the right has, for the past twenty
years or so, done better than the left in this regard - I think of the
foetus films and symbols, the right-to-life actions, Crystal Cathedral,
the NRA, and so forth. Even with PACs involved in the last, the fact
remains that these wagers are being made outside the artworld - the AIDS
quilt being an important exception.

How can one intervene on the level of popular demographics? This is an
important question - and one has to begin with the fact that for most
people, perhaps, museums aren't boring - or are becoming less so.
Without the deconstructive attitudes of current cultural politics. Just
as _display._


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