MUARCO is a miniaturized version of a modular exhibition space, which contains hundreds or more art works – depending on the configuration – in the size of 8 per 5 cm (leaflet for decision-makers,PDF).
In 2020 i was invited to participate in an group exhibition of DeSouza Gallery in Spain. As an conceptual artist working in the field of social sculpturing i was highly affected by lock down and the shift in social realities in nearly all societies worldwide.
Not only, that most of my colleagues are not allowed to perform any more, even cultural spaces like galleries, museums, exhibition and concert halls are affected.
I could not follow my friends thoughts and was not able to imagine a back to normal and i started to calculate the impact and the consequences for individuals and entries as well.
MUARCO – the exhibition in the museum in the exhibition – addresses these thoughts and – as an contemporary artist – i address the upcoming necessities for any kind of contemporary art production.
After 4 month of lock down some – mostly retiered – professionals started to talk about the impact for human souls. Even psychologists announced the impact for children and – therefore – new generations.
Contemporary art – which transform ressources as well as traffic, industrial production or any other private professional activity – need to deliver a real social benefit to people to approach a minimum of ethic value in its existance.
At the same time museums, which take an important role as amplifier, proxy and storage of culture are getting into economic trouble. They have to expand their abilities to overcome under-funding and they have to overcome facing social media video broadcasts and others to attract people.
On a short term it might be seen as an amplification of neo-liberal economy but on a long term it will have a huge impact for each museum as a keeper and protector of culture.
In art history the industrial revolution splitted up the art community and generated a new brand of creatives around product design. It reshaped the usability of tools and we saw even in architecture impressive results. The digital revolution again splitted up the art community and generated communication designer (web, social media). The impact was similar. Hundred years ago you needed deep skills in mechanics to drive a car, now you are short before to explain the auto-pilot where you want to go. In the beginning of micro computing you need to know the capacity of the operating system to give any value to a command prompt. These days you assemble graphic user interfaces and you are manipulating images without any deeper knowledge of computing and mathematics.
The worldwide pandemic event amplifies the end of the neo-liberal area, will crash economies and redesign societies and therefore habits and social interaction. One year ago western politics where shaking their hands if an religious woman from middle east was fighting in court to be allowed to wear a hijab in her classroom. Now the same politics are forcing its citizens to stop showing themselves naked – without covering their noses and their mouth – in public.
At the same time social distancing and many other new rules applied and people becoming more and more isolated. Even AI is forcing this process.
Two years ago i held up a meeting in our own community and asked “What is the WE?” because i was seeing this tendency to end up in comfort zones and information bubbles. The pandemic effect just gave speed to this process.
Again the economic meltdown will split the art community in 2020. This time it will address the social and culture design. At any time if the creatives are moving in a new field of profession it will end in a competition with others, already working in this field. And in the same way they had to arrange themselves with engineers (product design) in the past they have to deal with social entrepreneurs, social workers and pedagogues now.
MUARCO – the exhibition in the museum in the exhibition target the new normal in museums and public art spaces. It question the relation between visitor, art producer and the important cultural entry museum, as well as it questions the market components and traditional roles. It also explore a new normal in the narrative of iconographic perception of the museum itself.
The artist becomes the facilitator of an art production space. The museum becomes the host of this space and the visitor becomes the creative expanding the art work. But all components together are forming the art work itself. The museum transcended from a passive storage and source of academic disput to a source of creation. Accepted art ended finally in the museum, but now the museum will be a highly recommended and important creator of the artwork and therefor of the contemporary art. This will change the game dramatically and even for contemporary artists it will open a door to survive in these times.
The connection between the visitor / co-producer of the art work and the museum will also create the foundation of a long term relationship and improve the acceptance for the important role of the museum to evaluate and guard the culture of the society.
Update August 2020: after the first presentation of MUARCO – the exhibition in the museum in the exhibition – a first documentation is available here (PDF, 15MB).