The absurdity of art galleries

From the Times Arts section today, another typical whingey post about the government-encouraged access policy to museums and galleries for your perusal. I really have nothing much to say about this, only that I have a fundamental question... what is wrong with different people wanting to get different things from art? If I want to go to a blockbuster exhibition to run round in 20 minutes to have a look then why not? To be honest, I have stood in front of a great painting and still found nothing to interest me after ten minutes of staring then the first 'gut instinct' impression I had when approaching it. If I have a whinge then it is the horrible reverential silence which accommpanies most visits to an art gallery, the fear that if you raise your voice above a whisper or even laugh that you will be escorted from the gallery for having too much fun. When after all there is so much that is absurd about visiting an art gallery - why do we go and stare at a representation of the world when the real thing is out there waiting for us to go and see for 'real'? LOL


Amy said…
Oh, it's HIM again. ;) I wonder how he thinks museums and galleries will continue to operate if they can't generate the income blockbuster exhibitions provide? But still, I think he raises an interesting point about how people move round the exhibition space, and how they think they're meant to behave, which you also touch on Ceri. I get enormous subversive pleasure from not behaving in the 'correct' way in museums and galleries. I don't mean really misbehaving, but ignoring circulation routes, talking (sometimes to myself - ha!) and getting really, really up close to objects where possible; really scrutinising them. This bothered a few crumblies at a Surrealist exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum a few years back. I just loudly pronouced 'I am an art historian!' and proceeded to carry on with what I was doing. Strangely enough they seemed to accept that and left me alone!! ;)

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