Thursday, January 05, 2006

Caravgio and the Bentley. . . . .. . ... err, Chrysler 300

There's a huff on the Loyola Caravaggio lightbox reproductions exhibit in full effect. Should a gallery show reproductions when it's, you know, an ART GALLERY? Listen in.

Cool enough, Paul Roth, Curator of Photography at the Corcoran--and teacher of an awesome film noir class at SMCM three years ago--, weighs in on the curation/education difference:

Not sure but it seems no one else on this thread has said this...museums are not magazines. They are spaces designated for cultural encounters with objects and artifacts. Museums of art are typically set up so that visitors can experience original works of art -- reproductions are historically used only in their publications and, when included on the wall, to aid in interpretation of the original.

When museums enter territory such as this (which they do more often than you might think these days), they abrogate the historical function of art museums. Let's be honest: in this case Loyola did it for the money that would come from heightened attendance of a show from a big name artist. Pure and simple. You don't need to be cynic to realize that simple, crucial fact.

As museums increasingly engage in such technological gimmicry as a means of fulfilling the "entertainment" side of their mission, it is worthwhile for people to consider what this means about society's changing valuation of the "original," in the abstract; and how intellectually-focused institutions are increasingly driven by a variety of factors to "earn their keep," even at the cost of their identity, and - yes - their soul. Perhaps the whole field is in some kind of jeopardy?
My reply:

I took a film class taught by Paul Roth a billion years ago--yeah, before gio was born--and I remember him saying that he liked teaching cause it was like curating. He could pick the texts that would pick his students brains...

Thing is I agree that the museum is a space for original works of art but Loyola is an educational institution and here it is curating these faux-works backlit monstrosities to educate. There would be a problem if Paul had to come to class with a master 35mm of Kiss me Deadly to show our class the last great film noir.

So in curation there's always the intent of educating. Should education come first? Cause I kindof want to see those lightboxed Caravaggio's now.


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