Tag Archives: Society

The Museum of Non Participation

15 Nov

The Museum of Non Participation confronts (non) participation and the socio-political in art works. ‘Non Participation’ is not a negation, it is a threshold—a political plastic that expands and contracts, that is both unstable and malleable. This is an international neoliberal life condition, frequently (un) consciously exercised in the excess of one’s own society, often gained at the expense of another’s nameless plight elsewhere. Whilst locally it can be witnessed, for example, in the moment urgent social issues are both recognized and simultaneously ignored or rejected. It is also a structure including, in the UK, the filtering of government and corporate policies and agendas through the arts and arts funding.

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Museums interrelate hierarchy and exclusion, social critique and (post) colonization. So The Museum of Non Participation embeds its institutional critique in its very title — yet it releases itself from being an actual museum. Instead it travels as a place, a slogan, a banner, a performance, a newspaper, a film, an intervention, an occupation— sitautions that enable this museum to “act.” Thus the Museum of Non Participation does not disavow art objects, but it is driven to dislodge them from their central position within the field of art. To choose to look past the art object to the etymology of “object,” from the Latin obicere, meaning to present, or oppose, cast or throw in the way of.

This Museum explores obicere through multiple, ephemeral processes: artworks as well as events and actions that neither the founding artists nor museums possess through sole authorship. In a similar vein, The Museum of Non Participation approaches “collecting” as not merely assembling objects, but as an act that assembles and ushers forth action and agency and does so through disruption. It asks how withdrawal can be made visible? how can ‘non participation’ be active and critical?

The Museum of Non Participation is one aspect of Karen Mirza and Brad Butler’s wider artistic practice, an investigation of the terms and conditions of images, objects, collaboration, dialogue and the social.

Join Performa 13 presentation of the Museum

Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

3 Jan

Frances Glessner Lee (1878–1962), a New England socialite and heiress, dedicated her life to the advancement of forensic medicine and scientific crime detection. The seeds of her interest began when her brother’s college classmate, George Burgess Magrath (1870–1938), vacationed with the Glessner family at their summer home in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Magrath, then a medical student, went on to teach legal medicine at Harvard and to become the chief medical examiner of Suffolk County (Boston). In 1931 Mrs. Lee helped to establish the Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard, the only such program then in existence in North America. From that time on, she became a tireless advocate for forensic science. In 1934 she presented the department with a collection of books and manuscripts, which became the Magrath Library of Legal Medicine, and in 1936 endowed the department with a gift of $250,000 (adjusted for inflation, the equivalent of $3,367,000 in 2005 dollars).

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Mrs. Frances Glessner Lee at work on the Nutshell Collection, 1940s-1950s, 
Glessner House Museum, Chicago, Illinois
In 1943, Mrs. Lee was appointed captain in the New Hampshire State Police, the first woman in the United States to hold such a position. Around the same time, she began work on the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death—a series of eighteen miniature crime-scene dioramas for student analysis. The Nutshells allowed Mrs. Lee to combine her lifelong love of dolls, dollhouses, and models with her passion for forensic medicine. She originally presented them to the Harvard Department of Legal Medicine; later they came into the possession of the Maryland Chief Medical Examiner’s Office. Erle Stanley Gardner, the writer best known for creating the Perry Mason mysteries, and Mrs. Lee’s close friend, wrote that “A person studying these models can learn more about circumstantial evidence in an hour than he could learn in months of abstract study.”

Keith Haring

29 May

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Masumiyet Müzesi is open to public!

6 May

‘When we lose people we love, we should never disturb their souls, whether living or dead. Instead. we should find consolation in an object that reminds you of them, something…I don’t know…even an earring’
Orhan PamukThe Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence is both a novel by Orhan Pamuk and a museum he has set up. From the very beginnings of the project, since the 1990s, Pamuk has conceived of novel and museum together. The novel, which is about love, is set between 1974 and the early ’00s, and describes life in Istanbul between 1950 and 2000 through memories and flashbacks centred around two families – one wealthy, the other lower middle class. The museum presents what the novel’s characters used, wore, heard, saw, collected and dreamed of, all meticulously arranged in boxes and display cabinets. It is not essential to have read the book in order to enjoy the museum, just as it is not necessary to have visited the museum in order to fully enjoy the book. But those who have read the novel will better grasp the many connotations of the museum, and those who have visited the museum will discover many nuances they had missed when reading the book. The novel was published in 2008, the museum opens in Spring 2012.

See the prevoius post:  The museum that was written down 

Museum site

East is East, and West is West and never the twain shall meet

20 Feb

Helinä Rautavaara (1928-1988) made a career of documenting foreign cultures and religions. She travelled outside Europe as a reporter during the 1950s. Her travels to the Middle East and South Asia made these areas familiar to Finns through a series of colourful articles written for the Seura magazine. She also made her first radio and television programmes out of the material collected during these travels. Her subsequent travels added to her ever-increasing amount of photographs, super-8 films, audio recordings and videos.

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Helinä Rautavaara was first introduced to the Rastafarian movement during her trips to London and New York in 1980. She later stated that she had been dragged into the movement because of her African interests. Her ability to move naturally amongst a variety of ethnic groups also brought her closer to the representatives of the black consciousness movement.

In 1981, Rautavaara spent six months in Jamaica in order to familiarise herself with Jamaican syncretistic religions. She got to know a number of local Rasta communities and reggae musicians. She photographed and taped Rastafarian rituals, such as the ceremonies held in honour of Haile Selassie’s 50th birthday. She participated in Bob Marley’s funeral on May 21st 1981 at the National Arena. Rautavaara was initiated into the Rastafarian religion, and she sought to make herself known as Ras Benjamin.

 In 1991 Helinä Rautavaara made a short but consequential visit to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The objects acquired during that visit formed the core of her first museum.

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In 1991 Helinä Rautavaara made a short visit to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The objects acquired during that visit formed the core of her first museum.

Helinä Rautavaara named her 400-volume library on Brazil as her first true collection. She often attached exotic stories to the objects she later acquired, even though the collection includes several antique objects bought from public auctions.

Rautavaara’s style of dressing in ethnic clothes and decorating her home in exotic styles was a reflection of both styles adopted from the 1960s to the 1990s and of her taste as a collector.

Rautavaara herself summed up her relationship to the collection with the following words: “I have never understood an object’s significance as an object, rather it has always been part of an entire culture, not to mention being part of a ritual associated with it.”

In 1991 Helinä Rautavaara rented a former shop at Ruusulankatu 8, Helsinki, where she opened her first private museum. The collections she held at home had been accessible to visitors, but visiting groups had also access to the new exhibition rooms. The Baga-Zombie Museum displayed ritual objects that Rautavaara had brought back from her short trip to Haiti in 1990. In addition, there were Buddhist, Mexican and West African objects, and a wall-size glass painting made in 1885 by the Belgian glass artist Jean-Baptiste Capronnier.

 The cataloguing of the objects began in 1991.  The Helinä Rautavaara Museum was opened on June 16th 1998.

 It needs to be said that not everyone was pleased with the guidelines of Helinä Rautavaara’s collecting activities and their success. For example, the public display of cult and Voodoo objects made a well-known Espoo artist publicly accuse the Helinä Rautavaara object collection of connections to Satanic worship. Rautavaara herself thought that art inspired by the numerous religions of the world should be respected.

Source & more info:  Glims & Gloms

Check also:  HELINA

Dream Lofts in the former knitting factory

19 Jun

Eldert tenents allowed back in slowly

FDNY kicks legal Eldert loft tenents to crub

FDNY evicts dozens from Bushwick lofts

Public collectors

11 May
Public Collectors consists of informal agreements where collectors allow the contents of their collection to be published and permit those who are curious to directly experience the objects in person. Participants must be willing to type up an inventory of their collection, provide a means of contact and share their collection with the public. Collectors can be based in any geographic location.

 Public Collectors is founded upon the concern that there are many types of cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible. Public Collectors asks individuals that have had the luxury to amass, organize, and inventory these materials to help reverse this lack by making their collections public.

 The purpose of this project is for large collections of materials to become accessible so that knowledge, ideas and expertise can be freely shared and exchanged. Public Collectors is not intended, nor should it be used, for buying and selling objects. There are many preexisting venues for that.

 Collectors can accommodate viewers at whatever location is most comfortable or convenient for them. If their collection is portable or can be viewed in a location other than the collector’s home, this would still be an appropriate way to participate in the project.

In addition to hosting collection inventories and other information, http://www.publiccollectors.org includes digital collections that are suitable for web presentation, do not have a physical material analog, or are difficult or impossible to experience otherwise.

 Public Collectors is administered by Marc Fischer. If you have a collection that you would like to make public, please contact: marc [at] publiccollectors [dot] org

The Shoes of Imelda Marcos

11 May


Philippines, like most tropical islands, uses flip-flops as its most common footwear. As a paradox, Metropolitan Manila houses today the “shoe capital of Asia” Marikina City, where 200,000 people are said to work on the shoe manufacturing industry along its Sandal Street or Slipper Street.

But this suburb is also the site where flip-flops pay tribute to a woman who had not enough time in her life to wear all the shoes she owned. After a popular revolt in 1986, former Dictator’s wife Imelda Marcos had to leave her collection of 2,700 pairs of shoes in the Presidential Palace, before fleeing the country. Imelda stock-piled 5,400 luxury brand shoes in the same way as other kings gathered over 3,000 women in their harems. Palaces, contrary to common dwellings, have this virtue of housing any possible paradox whim inside their walls. 18th century French merchant Beaujean was too fat to walk along his amazing gardens and suffered from insomnia inside a palace full of splendid bedrooms…

At least Imelda can show off her collection; some years ago she turned her precious treasure into a populist Shoe Museum, maybe as a tool to win Manila’s Major Elections. She was wearing a pair of locally made silver high-heels the day of the extravagant opening.

Video

 

Shoes Obsession Show

Herb and Dorothy Vogel

4 May

Most of us go through the world, never seeing anything. Then you meet somebody like Herb and Dorothy, who have eyes that see.” —Richard Tuttle, artist

He was a postal worker. She was a librarian. Together they amassed one of the most important contemporary art collections in the world.

HERB & DOROTHY tells the extraordinary tale of Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a seemingly ordinary couple who filled their humble one-bedroom New York apartment with more than 4,000 works of art over a 45-year period. Filmmaker Megumi Sasaki turns her lens on the Vogels during a critical period of transition for the couple and their cherished collection.

From the earliest days of their marriage, the Vogels delighted in art. While working the midnight shift at the post office, Herb studied by day at the Institute of Fine Arts. Dorothy soon followed suit and began taking classes in painting and drawing. But ultimately, Dorothy confesses, they were “wannabe artists” and quickly gave up their own ambitions when they realized the joys of collecting.

Despite their modest income, the two began acquiring work that was undiscovered or unappreciated in the early 1960s, primarily Minimalist and Conceptual art by such visionaries as Robert and Sylvia Mangold, Donald Judd, Richard Tuttle, Sol LeWitt, Christo, Lynda Benglis and many other artists who are featured in the film.

The work was mostly non-decorative, evoking descriptors like “daring” and “rigorous.” In their collecting, Herb and Dorothy adhered to strict guidelines—they would live on Dorothy’s salary and devote Herb’s income to purchasing art. While reflecting their adventurous taste, the collection would need to conform to practical limitations of affordability and space. One artist recalls that the Vogels would only buy pieces they could carry home on the subway or in a taxi.

Diminutive and unassuming, the two became a fixture on the New York art scene, attending nightly gallery events and befriending many of the artists whose work they collected. Artist Chuck Close affectionately refers to the couple as the “mascots of the art world.” Collaborators Christo and Jeanne-Claude recall how Herb and Dorothy acquired a work of theirs in exchange for cat-sitting.

By the early 1990s, the Vogels’ collection filled every corner of their living space, from the bathroom to the kitchen, floor to ceiling. “Not even a toothpick could be squeezed into the apartment,” recalls Dorothy. The place was bursting at the seams, and something had to be done.

Courted by every major museum, the couple astounded the art world by transferring their entire collection—worth several million dollars—to the National Gallery of Art. As government workers themselves, they liked the idea of sharing their prized pieces with the American people. After weeks of packing, shippers carted away an astounding five full-sized moving trucks of paintings, drawings and sculptures from the tiny apartment.

Today, still in love with each other and with art, Herb and Dorothy live in the same apartment, with their pet turtles, fish and cat. The once completely emptied space is again filled with art.

Update

In August 2009, filmmaker Megumi Sasaki reported that Herb and Dorothy had finally stopped adding to their collection. In 2008, they began distributing work through their national gift project, The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: 50 Works for 50 States. Although they don’t attend gallery or museum openings as much due to Herb’s health, the couple traveled with the film to many film festivals and screenings, meeting and interacting with the audience.

Thomas Hirschhorn, Laundrette, 2001 / HVCCA

2 May