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Is it possible for art to escape the museum? Is it desirable? Free essay! Download now

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Is it possible for art to escape the museum? Is it desirable?

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 2800 | Submitted: 31-Jan-2005
Spelling accuracy: N/A | Number of pages: | Filetype: Word .doc


This essay looks at the sense in which every arena where art is displayed might be described as a “museum”, and, by logical extention, every arena where art is displayed is also, perpetually, not a museum. It will examine the stigmas, misconceptions, and outmoded assumptions that construct our imaginary picture of the museum, and suggest alternative “museums” that thrive in modern society.


To some extent, the question is about the form of art. Art has been defining itself as an evasion of classification since the turn of the 20th Century. If art had retained its primary function as a marker of materialism, its capitalistic hierarchy of genres, there would be relevance to a question about where it belonged. Art has achieved mobility through manipulation of space, through technology, and through the wheels of ideological change have propelled it from its roots in representational relevance to a new realm of materialistic autonomy. Now that art need signal nothing but itself, it is already liberated from its space of representation: but only because it has appropriated that space. The freedom art has achieved in recent centuries has come at the price of its modesty. Art’s arrogance is probably 150 years old, but still the public are suspicious of it.

One wonders if there really is an argument to force people who aren’t interested in art to view it, as if it will somehow benefit them. It is an anthropomorphic question with an anthropomorphic response and it is analogous to the impossible labour undertaken by keen cat lovers as they are consistently challenged by dog lovers on their bizarre choice of quadruped.

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