Is a museum a factory?

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

I find it interesting the author claims people are looking for political films in art galleries now. I think politics and important   other social issues can sometimes only be communicated through the arts. Its a soft way to communicate your ideas yet its often more impactful in my opinion. A museum can act as a factory because it is producing something, something intentional, something to send a message. A message that is filed by artists, supplies, employees, all the people supporting the creation and displaying of the art. the phrase “to look is labor” further shows that consuming the art is something that takes effort, labor translates to currency, so to understand the message of the art we must buy into to the art. Also, in museums you don’t see the work that goes into to the piece, the multitude of failures, the prototyping, you only see the final perfected piece. In factories it is the same way, no view of what went into it. This separates the viewer from the product, the message, and the actual piece. The message of the artwork is de-personalized when viewing it a museum because you could interpret so many different meanings for it, you don’t see the artists process, which was probably more meaningful to the artist that the final product. Art as an experience is much more impactful than art as just an anesthetic viewing. Museums can be more impactful on the public and less like factories by showing the real stories behind the artwork, the journey it took to get there is far more interesting than a classical painting. As in life, the journey is a lot more interesting than the destination, so why doesn’t art focus on the same thing instead of making itself into a factory. This probably feeds into why artists feel so much pressure to be constantly producing amazing work, because the journey isn't valued as much. If the time spent in sketch books and  developing ideas was emphasized more in the study of art I think the art world would succeed more.

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