Saturday, March 15, 2008


Phil's comment on the last post made me think about video instillations in museums. As it happens, I have two sort of viewpoints on these.

1. Museums occasionally hold film nights, the way they hold concerts. But is there a way in which museums can further integrate things like film into their holdings? I've been pleased by recent exhibitions of things, like graphic design at the SF MOMA last spring, things that succeed in both challenging notions of art and the everyday, but without any chilly distance or irony of dadaist works. Maybe Phil's on to something here.

2. Museums can't handle video installiations. They're awkwardly in dark rooms off to the side, there's frequently no place to sit (sometimes, it's hard to figure out where to stand even), and they prevent any sort of invitation to engage with the rest of the museum. One aspect I like about museums is the layout, which pieces are paired along a wall. The best are non-obvious, but intuitive and informative. Films, on the other hand, close off the rest of the museum to focus on the work, and the transition in and out never feels right for me. I'd like to see museum design take this into account, and video artists think about this when they work.

Enough pontificating. I have a concert to attend.


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