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Category Archives: Museum

“Wearing the same combination of light blue shirt and jeans as she did 18 years ago, Swinton was watched by hundreds of people while she slept in a glass box at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Saturday.
Little has changed since the exhibit first appeared in 1995, with the notable exception of a pair of glasses next to Swinton on the mattress
Arms crossed and lying on her side with her eyes closed, Swinton did little to amuse the crowds but is due to appear again on six further occasions this year – but the public will get no warning. A MoMA statement said: “Those who find it chance upon it for themselves, live and in real – shared – time.””

– Sam Masters (The Independent)

How does this practice reflect current educational and learning theory research?
Current research and theory supports this use of artistic practice as a framework for learning in its emphasis on giving the learner choice and control, using the learner’s experience and prior knowledge, and seeking ways to motivate learners by offering much more open-ended, task-oriented activities. Here, one of the key benefits of using artistic practice as framework for learning is that as a student collects or documents, for example, the practice itself provides fairly immediate feedback. This quick response to practice is a core characteristic of effective “flow” experiences—optimal learning experiences as noted by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly—and is vital as it leads to learners shifting from being extrinsically to intrinsically motivated to learn. It is also central to developing mastery over performance. This notion of built-in feedback is also primary to constructivist learning theory. For example, Vygotsky’s influential theory of learning as a socially? mediated process of “scaffolding,” where learning is fundamentally constructed and based in interaction, is central to the idea of using artistic practice as a framework for learning. As photographer Diane Arbus noted, “photography was a license to go wherever I wanted and to do what I wanted to do” and in the process use the camera to learn about the world around her and create her own interpretation and vision.

-The warhol (artistic practices as a framework for learning)

“My tastes in art are not dissimilar from my taste in music (Wire, Big Black, Joy Division) or movies (Kubrick, Bunuel, Scorsese) all of which tend towards angst, black humor, irony, obliqueness, existentialism, and anti-heroics (and in the case of the movies, intense, well-constructed visuals.) That said, the shows I’ve done at the MCA are only a partial reflection of my taste (and my taste as mediated by the larger vision of the institution.)

I think many of the shows that I’ve done here at the MCA reflect my interest in work that has a certain tension between emotionally intense content or subject matter and coolly detached formal execution (Sharon Lockhart, Gillian Wearing, and to some degree Wolfgang Tillmans.) Other artists I really admire/would love to work with include Mike Kelley, Aida Ruilova, Richard Kern, Jim Lambie, Eva Rothschild, Richard Hawkins, Paulina Olowska, Douglas Gordon, Richard Rezac, Slater Bradley, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Paul McCarthy, Richard Prince, Daria Martin, Anselm Reyle, and Ashley Bickerton, among many many others.

I think my taste is a little more inclined towards weirder and more willfully dark and perverse things than it was a while ago (when I was much more conceptually-minded.) I’m not a huge fan of overly earnest, overproduced, and melodramatic video or photography, and am not so keen on do-gooder art (socially progressive endeavors masquerading as art).”

– Dominic Molon (Chicago Artist Resource interview)

“Alfred H. Barr Jr., the Modern’s visionary founding director, drew a well-known outline of Modern art movements and famously likened the museum’s collection to a torpedo moving through time. The implication was that the collection’s involvement with the present is broad, but its back end is increasingly narrow, as superfluous, minor art falls away. But art is not so amenable to outlining, and art movements are really messy, edgeless things that should only become more so with age. Maybe it is time for a new, less militant metaphor. One possibility is a perpetually expanding umbrella, where everything — a historical moment, a museum’s reach and our consciousness — only increases.”

Roberta Smith (NY Times article)

Do you think there’s a deficit of play in the lives of children or adults? If so, what’s your suggested antidote?

We seem to witness both an overkill of entertainment—and its pedagogical servant: edutainment—and a lack of open-ended and constructive play—and its pedagogical equivalent—genuine “hard fun”: the ability to move or operate freely in a bounded space. The metaphor of the “leap” is often used to capture the sense of exuberance and freedom that characterize children’s play, as well as its boundary-crossing nature. Problem is: We can’t just leap without a place to land, and there would be no levity without gravity. It is in this deep sense that play is not merely an escape from reality but the freedom to participate in, transform and be transformed by the world.

As John Holt put it “Children use fantasy not to get out of, but to get into, the real world”. It is their way of understanding it and coming to grips with their experience, turning it over and owning it. To play is to become a part of a reality in constant transformative engagement with itself. Play does not disappear with adulthood, nor is it a luxury reserved to poets and artists alone.

What’s to be learned from kids?