Who owns the art?
No, probably not the artist – wouldn’t it be too obvious to be the answer for this blog post?
The previous discussions have already set and started off the trend where we discussed the changed status of art from a privileged and exclusive status to being circulated among the public. The public, it seems, holds and even controls the fate of the artwork – the authority slips from the artist right after he finishes the artwork into the swarming arms of the masses.
Here comes the question of displaying art. When Lars Nittve mentioned about how contemporary museums changes their way of showcasing art in a talk held in SCAD Hong Kong, he emphasized about balancing between creating a museum for the masses while strictly maintaining the original intentions and meanings conveyed by the artists.
So are museums becoming more “user friendly” or are they “spoon-feeding” visitors? To what degree should museums explicitly guide the public to view the art? Or, in another perspective, should museum curators simulate experiences as the public themselves, which is mostly assumed to have less knowledge than the academia, in order to create the best suited experience for all?
While suspecting the efficiency of the balance, we cannot but admit he has by these far achieved significantly successful and popularly accepted new changes in the museums he has managed.
The tension between an artist trying to send his message and a mass that dilutes and is reluctant to accept only one dominating doctrine is never-ending, if not heightening in degree.
In the coming post, we will look further into one of his very latest museum and curating works – M+, the repeatedly debated and discussed new museum in Hong Kong, located in the West Kowloon area. We will see how, in a specific example is this balance carefully weighed.