I was out walking with the twins yesterday and decided to swing by one of Copenhagens more upscale galleries. This place is not much different from the rest of the galleries here, but having the twins along gave me an opportunity to see things from a different perspective.
The Gatekeeper. The gallery is 4 steep steps up from street level. Very prohibitive when entering with a pram, but I managed somehow.
At the outset I am not saying that bringing 2 4-month-old toddlers to an art show is necessarily a good idea, but at least it got me thinking about the way traditional galleries approach their audience.
White floors, white walls, white ceiling. The traditional way of presenting art is to remove it from it’s context. This serves to enforce the notion that the item showed really IS art and eliminates any doubt in the eyes of the observer. This is one of the cornerstones of the “Found Objects” branch of art which claims anything can be art as long as it’s removed from it’s context. Think only of Damien Hirsts Sharks or Duchamps urinals.
Intimidating. The traditional art gallery is not for everyone. Whether this intimidating atmosphere is intended to discourage the observer from questioning the artistical quality of the items showed or simply to attract and repel certain segments of viewers is open for debate.
It’s probably a little bit of both though.
The traditional gallery is dying.
Like the cartoon? check Out Hugh Macleods work.