VL 3 : Exposition and Context (ii)

Beyond the questions posed and responded to in the previous posting, the lecture also delved into the nature of the gallery. I'm going to put this forward as a series of bullets at the moment as there's a lot of ground to cover and I feel like I'm slipping behind - maybe I'll come back later and look at specific points in more detail, but at least writing it down here is a start.
  • What purpose does the gallery serve in this day and age? Is it for entertainment or education? Edutainment? Does it have to be one or the other? Will one mans entertainment be another’s education?
  • It was stated that the gallery will mediate art from within its original context, narrative and frame (as opposed to something like the Internet, where these things will, in all likelihood, become divorced from the work).

The video went on to look at specific institutions...

National Gallery (London)
  • A temple to the arts.
  • An impressive building that states the value placed on the arts - a national symbol of culture, wealth and status.

Tate Modern (London)
  • Reflects the considerable status of modern art.
  • A symbol of commercial (rather than national) wealth, with the Tate family and their sugar fortune being the benefactors.
  • It can be both a personal and collective experience.
  • Features everything you need for a "day out" experience - cafe, dining, members room, gift shop, books, etc. And of course there's the galleries...
  • Attending the venue shows we give ourselves a certain status.

MoMA (NY)
  • Again, another status symbol, this time from a much earlier time (1939), which wasn't a period associated with the artistic "day out", so can be considered a social instigator.

Guggenheim (NY)
  • A purpose built centre to draw people in from the outside.
  • Space designed for the presentation of the arts.

Guggenheim (Bilbao)
  • Reflects Bilbao's industrial heritage whilst still following in the footsteps of the New York gallery.
  • very much a symbol of wealth and prestige (something of a trend emerging...)

Louvre (Paris)

  • A building full of history, grandeur and opulence.
  • The hanging style is very different from other places, a lot of art hung in very close proximity to each other, whilst also competing with the building itself.

Musée d'Orsay (Paris)
  • A converted railway station.
  • Holds mainly French art from the Impressionist collection of the Louvre. (Note - wikipedia states they're from the Jeu de Paume prior to 1986)

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (Norwich)
  • Purpose built for the display of visual arts.
  • Attached to the University of East Anglia, whose courses reflect this.
  • Features curated pathways through the displayed Sainsbury's collection, rather than specifically curated exhibitions.

Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford)

  • The work comes from a somewhat random personal collection.
  • Arranged to reflect the locality, rather than other connections between the artefacts on show.

Reference:
Exposition and Context: Professional Context, Video Lecture 1. Unknown. [Video Streaming] Caroline Wright. Open College of the Arts. (MA1)
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