museum slash Museum

museum slash Museum
part of the Double Life project of Olga Kisseleva

video, 4’, 2010.

Soundtrack text:
My name is Veda Popovici. I am an artist. And I earn my living working as a teacher at secondary school.
I teach art practice and art history to 11, 12, 13 and 14 year olds. I could say that my job is to teach children how to express themselves. Which it is. But more importantly, my job is to make sure they understand and learn society’s established notions of art.
What is art? What is an artist? Who made art and why? What are the most important artists, movements of our culture? Well, it isn’t exactly our culture. It is just the culture.
I actually don’t know the answer to any of these questions. But the teacher must know and with this knowledge form young subjetivities.
I show them virtual reproductions of works of art that I like and that correspond to the style I must teach. I hope they will remember at least some of the works and build an imaginary, personal, however small museum. It will be a museum of replicas, wannabes, copies.
Not a strong but a fragile museum built to be eventually demolished. A fictional museum. But what kind of a museum could I expect them to built? Fake museums are the only ones they can experience in this society, the society they live in. Museums empty of reality, that have only wrapping. These institutions consist only of the reinforcement of their historical authority.
Tell me, dear, have you learned the lesson on Baroque? If its Baroque it means its with a 13 year old I’m talking. I couldn’t teach him pop art. History must be respected. History is here a progress, and it’s always Western, always masculine, always white.
Sitting obedient in their little desks with their paper, crayons and colors they wait for me to tell them what to do. How to make art. Madam, what should I draw today? Is it good, is it beautiful? Is it finished?
I am no Madam and I have no answers. Still, I must tell them something. Eventually I tell them the what and the how. Of course it’s beautiful. All that they do is just beautiful.
What I did lately was establishing the Blind Museum. The Blind Museum hasn’t got any works to show. More precisely its works are hidden, kept away from the eye of the viewer. They are wrapped, buried. The gaze that this museum forms is a blocked one. It is censored, blinded.
It is a museum of no masters and no masterpieces. It proposes no role models to admire or despise. The Blind Museum is in search for its tradition. History is too heavy. Too difficult to handle. So this museum just overlooks it.
The Blind Museum isn’t an alternative. It echoes an everpresent structure of power and authority. It is a sign of the burden of powerplayed history.
The museum has a catalogue. It provides information about its establishment, its artists and its objectives.
The blind museum celebrates no particular history and it designs no particular future. It is an inoperable instrument of modernity. It could announce a failure or a success.
It is neither good, nor evil.
It does not try to form subjectivities. It is just a testimony of an aged and dysfunctional story. And, thus, harmless.