It’s increasingly clear to me that the way museums display works of art (and most galleries), alters them as surely as if the curators took brush and paint and wrote messages of ownership across them. What we see in a museum is filtered propaganda, honoring the structures of power, wealth, and those who control it, drawing life from the art and using it like a drug to induce a state of awe and subservience, not for the art, but the invisible powers that assembled the display. How grateful we must be, that all this was gathered for us in the marble halls of these mausoleums–a gesture of largess from the wealthy investors for us to view. Where would we be without them! As though the artists (who in their lifetimes, would have been lucky if they could afford entrance), were mere labor, expendable, like the workers who tunneled under the Hudson… 14 of whom died in its construction…and not a one of them named, ‘Holland.’
As though this art would not exist, certainly not for us, but for these glorious prisons.
What is wrong with this picture, is not the fault of the museums and it’s keepers… they are merely playing the roles assigned to them–cleaner and less bloodstained, but comparable, nonetheless, to the police and soldiers, prison guards and executioners of this Empire of Money and Death.
Impossible to imagine in these cathedrals of art, that there might be an other way–where people don’t surrender their creative lives for adulthood, and art flows from the lives of the people, present everywhere and in everything we do and make. Where artists don’t have to compete for the one spot in ten thousand where they can live by their art, and everyone can have works of art beside them, not just the wealthy.
Capitalism controls our very imagination–that we cannot believe anything else can exist. How then, as artists, can we let ourselves serve these robotic masters!
No Revolution without Art! No Art without Revolution!