Claire Bishop examines the role of the contemporary art museum today by looking at three museums: The Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, The Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Metelkova Museum of Contemporary Art in Ljubljana.
Within her new work Claire Bishop reinterprets the term "contemporary" in the context of contemporary art and analyses various curatorial practices that determine the role of museums in today's social life. This essay is a manifesto for the importance of the term "contemporary" seen as a politicized method for interpretation of events and not for chronological statement. According to Bishop, museum of contemporary art nowadays builds an environment where experimenting with perception of the present may be realized, which, as a result, leads to rethinking the future.
The author argues that nowadays museum of contemporary art cannot limit itself to providing a banal platform for narcissist philanthropism. Museum turns into an archive of the society's consciousness as a common expression of what we believe is valuable in our culture. It maintains its new role as a guide in history for the audience, helping us understand and accept the present by granting us a new perception of the past experience.
Illustrations created by artist Dan Perjovschi.
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