Free «Global Art Scenes» Essay Paper

Global Art Scenes
  1. Los Angeles MoCA (Museum of Contemporary Art).

Los Angeles MoCa was founded in 1979 as one of the most important areas for the development of contemporary art in the city. The museum consists of three parts located in different regions. Each location is responsible for a certain sector of the art, but they are united by the common idea of popularizing contemporary art. Marcia Weisman, the founder of the museum, felt the need for a museum that would unite young artists, collectors, and researchers under one roof.

Private collections represent the half of the museum’s collection of art. American Art is dominated by the abstract expressionism and pop art. In the 1980s, the museum received many remarkable works from such artists as Franz Kline, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Julian Schnabel, and many others. The collectors and companies continually present private collections, including graphic works, sculptures, and videos. Thus, the donation made by a private collector E. Blake Byrne in 2004 was distinguished among others because the donator had presented 123 works by 78 artists. It was one of the biggest and most generous sponsorships in the history of the museum.

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According to its concept, the museum is known for the exhibits dedicated to the post-war themes and motifs that were reflected in American art. For the museum, it was important not only to create a powerful collection but also to become a research center, finding and collecting American art. Thus, the museum is known for its specific research, particularly in the field of feminism (for instance, the Women in the Arts event in 1994), globalization, queer themes, and other social topics. However, the museum is also famous for its powerful retrospective of contemporary artists. For example, there was a large retrospective of works by Takashi Murakami in 2007 that attracted the attention of many patrons, politicians, musicians, and actors.

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Many important events from the fall of 2008 were aimed at attracting attention to modern history and the creativity of young artists. For instance, The Engagement Party (2008-2012) was a great free program that represented the most impressive works of young artists in California. The program also includes the master classes, lectures, screenings, and performances in various fields, turning the city into the center of contemporary art one more time. In 2010, there was an exhibition of Dennis Hopper, who had canceled the exhibition of the underrated artist Jack Goldstein. In addition, in 2014, there was a powerful exhibition of Andy Warhol’s Shadows (1978-1979), and it had never been exhibited before. Matthew Barney’s solo retrospective River of Fundament (2014) is the most remarkable exhibition from the last events in the Museum. Nowadays, the museum organizes numerous tours and retrospectives, and its goal to help young artists in their creativity is as important as ever.

  1. According to Karsten Schubert, what are the typical characteristics of the new museum?

The new museum cannot replay the concept “elitism for all”, and thus “has no time for such delicate complexities” (Schubert 159). It does not play the function of educating and training people anymore because the new museum is more an entertainment place rather than a public place for education. Thus, the new visitor is more a passive consumer rather than an active subject of knowledge. The author also lists some symbolic elements: quantity, diffusion, revival, amnesia, copy, and chaos. In this model, focus and history would be sacrificed for distraction and novelty: “In lieu of preservation there would be disposal, and sensation and spectacle would take the place of contemplation and experience” (Schubert 160). Moreover, following Rosalind Krauss, Schubert believes that the new museum is more similar to such centers as Disneyland or supermarkets that donated knowledge for leisure. Therefore, the new museum has so much space that it is enough for everyone.

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There are potential problems when the new museum is transformed into a corporation. The “Krens doctrine” involves the transformation of the museum into a commercial structure, destroying the old paradigm in this way. First, the conflict between the corporate ambition and cultural status has not been fixed (Schubert 162) because businessmen and collectors have different purposes. The main problem is that the new museum wants to make a profit instead of creating an independent cultural space. Art has always been unselfish, but in this particular case, it must adapt to the market. Finally, it is the artist who becomes a craftsman or a source of income and not those who should be behind the economical processes.

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LACMA partly becomes the new museum because it does not follow the classical pattern of architecture/place. Indeed, it seems that it has been created for the utilitarian needs not for the artists, and thus, its architecture “has emancipated itself from its function” (Schubert 164). Moreover, it is often related to commercial structures because it bought art not only for a cultural heritage but also for a commercial strategy. This was achieved owing due to the private collectors who had sold or gave their collections to the museum. In other words, the museum did not choose art, but the collectors selected the museum as a warehouse for their art collections. Thus, the exhibitions permanently change each other in the museum, confirming Schubert’s thesis: “While temporary exhibitions have become the lifeblood of museums, permanent displays have become temporary, endlessly changing and evolving” (168).

  1. Select three different alternative art spaces described in our class lectures.

SALT is located in Istanbul (Turkey), and it was founded in 2011. This non-profit cultural institution tries to exhibit contemporary art. Moreover, it is quite a creative space, in which many conferences, lectures, performances, and discussions have been organized. Due to its location, the museum absorbs both Western and Eastern influences. Being the member of L’Internationale, the museum offers a place for art within any hierarchical limits because the main goal is to spread the most relevant trends in art. Such exhibitions as A Century for Centuries (2015) and Lost Shadows (2015) were aimed at representing the past of Turkey in the global context, proving that there were limits between humans.

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Another alternative art space is Ashkal Alwan in Lebanon (Beirut). Designers and curators found this association in 1994 as an alternative platform for the Lebanese artists. The location gives a chance to open the Asian contemporary art in the context of dialogue between the global world and Islam. The purpose of the center is not only to exhibit the regional artists but also to realize the international projects. For example, among them were such public events as Video Works (2011) and Home Works 6 (2013). These performances were also designed to expand cultural and national limits.

Lugar a Dudas is also an interesting alternative space established in 2005 in Cali, Columbia. The main goal was to archive the national memory with art and video practices. The location is very important because it brings an opportunity to use this small space for different alternative practices, being on the margin of mainstream. Many noticeable exhibitions have been organized in Lugar a Dudas. First, Oscar Muñoz presented in his exhibition (2013) the images of different people on the water, representing the past of Columbia. Second, it was Kader Attia’s installation (2014) exploring the African queer culture.

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These three art spaces show that contemporary art overcomes the boundaries between the national and the global, the eternal and the temporary. The task of the contemporary art is to reproduce the spirit of time regardless of location. The current museums create an international network for the artists that spread different ideas in a common aesthetic space. In addition, despite the commercialization of museums, they are an example of a democratic environment that tries to reflect the key problems of the modern world.

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