Conversation: Aslı Çavuşoğlu and Özge Ersoy
The below text was commissioned for Aslı Çavuşoğlu, published by Art-ist and Revolver Verlag, Istanbul, 2012.
“In Different Estimations Little Moscow,” 2011, 12’45” (video still).
Commissioned by BORUSAN A.Ş.
Özge: My first question departs from an artist’s interview that I read yesterday. In the interview, Mary Ellen Carroll says that she abstains from creating a visual style that denounces its artist right away and at the same time, she is aware of the difficulty this lack of a “clear” visual style causes in creating a sustainable career. Carroll, who speaks about recognizability, visibility and developing an artistic practice, is influenced by an art historian, George Kubler. According to Kubler, biography can be used as a tool for an individual to look at her production and career impartially. This leads us to a curious question: How do we write our own biographies? Especially, how is the production history of artists written? If we look at your art practice, we realize that there is not a formulaic or formal approach. Do you think there is a common sensibility in your works? Or, would you rather say that each of your works develops independently and that it would not be useful to make connections or find relationships between them?
Aslı: How I relate my works with each other—mostly on a linear axis—is a question that I am asked quite often. I must say that I am a bit uncomfortable with the tendency to relate things with each other, which is motivated by a concern to label/brand the artist’s work. For me, the best example to demonstrate that linear connections don’t have an absolute counterpart is how atoms connect with each other: just because an atom is activated by another atom doesn’t mean that its destiny is dependent only on that atom; it can be activated by another atom to generate another substance. At a moment, when even storytelling and listening to music have had their share of inter-narrative or hyper-narrative options, it is more interesting to ask why we still want to explain the world along a single linear axis.
Özge: Here I would like to bring up Magnificent Seven (2006), a project that deals with this issue specifically in relation to the artist presenting or promoting herself. For this work, you invented an artist collective of seven people, created works for every single artist, and thereby impersonated seven different characters. I’m curious if the timing of this project coincides with a period when you were questioning your own artistic identity and style?
Aslı: In this project, first the characters emerged, and then their works that they could have produced along these characteristics have come about. Similar to Pessoa creating more than 80 characters and writing poems in the style of each, the artists I invented had their own birthdays, schools they have attended, books they liked, and even their own unique political views. Their works were therefore distinct from each other. I experimented with this in a different way in Delivery6 (2009). I sent 70 books from my library that have influenced me, to the author of the thesis—whom I have never met—and wanted the quotations in the thesis to be made from these books. I was curious if s/he would write a text similar to mine in style, if s/he were to read the books that influenced me. The result was a surprisingly similar text but still quiet distinct from mine in terms of style.
I should add that Magnificent Seven was also an attempt at an alternative collective, which was formed by splintering instead of convening. Moreover, it was a response from the other side of the Bosphorus to Beyoğlu, which is the cultural center of Istanbul.
Snapshot from a CSI-NY episode.
Özge: I would like to talk more about a word you used—similarity or resemblance. In In Patagonia After Bruce Chatwin (2009) and If Something Bad Happens It Happens To Me (2008), you create resemblances by impersonating others. By repeating stories, situations or rather by reenacting them, I think you are tackling the notion of singularity. Is this a counter position towards a system in which authenticity and originality are appraised?
Aslı: I don’t get excited about works that I have absolute control over. I think that type of works tend towards rhetoric. In the last couple of years, I have worked with film and performance because these media enable experimentation. I would not define In Patagonia After Bruce Chatwin and If Something Bad Happens It Happens To Me as reenactments. In these works, the emphasis is on the uniqueness of experience and not being able to be anything other than who you are. For example, In Patagonia After Bruce Chatwin begins like this: “I wish I were Bruce Chatwin.” Before or during adolescence, there are moments—possibly experienced by everyone—when you come to find yourself and understand that you cannot be anybody other than yourself. This comes with confusion and maybe with some disappointment. It is impossible that you be Bruce Chatwin, even if you perform every single action Chatwin describes in the book—you cannot be anybody but yourself.
Özge: In these works, you are somehow at the center, you are the one who performs these experiences, whereas in In Diverse Estimation a Little Moscow (2011), you work with nonprofessional actors to tackle the “Point Operation” [“Nokta Operasyonu”] in Fatsa, a trial of the 12 September 1980 coup d’état. On the one hand, we are talking about your own experiences. On the other hand, you approach a historical event, which you didn’t experience but researched, through the experience of others.
Aslı: The film is about the impossibility of reenacting the experience of an autonomous local government experiment in Fatsa and the punishment by the state that followed. There are many fragmented stories of this experiment in Fatsa that is told in pieces by different people. Due to lack of resources and a wide discussion platform around the issue, many lived experiences have become myths and mixed with other stories. I tried to communicate this dehistoricized cacophony in the film.
Some of the people, who I worked with during the research, witnessed, or even participated in the local governance experience. Also, the cast we worked with consists of people from the younger generation, whose parents abstained from telling the history of Fatsa because of the trauma they have experienced. Most of them discovered this aspect/side of Fatsa, while the film was being shot.
Murder In Three Acts, film/performance, 2012. Commissioned by Frieze Projects. Photo by Taylan Mutaf.
Özge: While doing your research, you interviewed people that have lived through the “Point Operation”, and gathered their stories, and yet you decided to work with a cast from the younger generation once you were behind the camera. I don’t think you try to teach these young people—who have not lived or even heard of the Fatsa Operation—their own history. So I would like to deliberate on this choice a little. Why did you direct your camera towards the youth in Fatsa? Were you interested in the distanced performances that could emerge because they are so removed from the recent past?
Aslı: As it is customary in our country, the experience in Fatsa has been forgotten even though only 30 years have passed since its occurrence and of course, this was an important trigger for the project. Above all, I wanted to do something, when I witnessed the serious transformation of the spaces that were actively used during the local government period, and their detachment from their own histories like the people. The former Meat and Fish Administration [Et ve Balık Kurumu], where thousands of people were arrested and subjected to torture, is now a ruin that is waiting to be part of Ordu University. The project was triggered by a curiosity about the relationship of a generation—who is clueless about the prior function of a part of their school— would have with these spaces.
“Delivery6,” artist’s book, 2009 (detail).
Özge: In the film, we see abstracted, associative and remembered fragments of stories, which seem disconnected from each other. It is obvious that you evade a conventional documentary approach. Here I’m curious about the reason why you placed an informative text about the “Point Operation” in the beginning of the film, which is reminiscent of an encyclopedic format. Why did you want to create such a contradiction?
Aslı: Until the end of the 90s, it was prohibited to publish books on the Fatsa experience. When I was a high school student in the 1990s, I learned about the Fatsa experience and “the Point Operation” from the single book on the topic written by Pertev Aksakal, which I covered with a newspaper and read secretly. Pertev Aksakal’s book is not banned anymore and there is a dissertation by a Boğaziçi student, which is yet another resource on the topic. There is also the trial indictment, where the film’s title comes from. It is taken from the introduction of the badly written indictment and is used in a paragraph that defines Fatsa. However, there is no other material on the subject. On the one hand, in sources such as Wikipedia, it is a past historical event that has a hollow historical explanation, such as “The Battle of Sakarya”. On the other hand, there are residues of memories shared by people, who were leaders or witnesses to the event. To expose this contradiction, I wanted to provide two different types of knowledge, together.
Özge: Your research, enriched by reading the existing texts and by conducted interviews, reminds me of the meticulousness of a social scientist. Yet, in the work, instead of claiming to be objective and distant, you are interested in colliding different types of knowledge.
Aslı: With the convenience of producing art under the guise of science, I thought the film could reflect that information is in fragments. In this way, the process doesn’t only reflect what happened in Fatsa but goes one step further and inquires into how people’s memory functions or how memories had to function as defense mechanisms. People that we consulted, who insisted on staying in Fatsa after the event, are around 60-70 years old now. They had a difficult time finding some of the places where the events occurred, and there were even conflicts amongst them as they had different perspectives on the events. In the end, I wanted to remain true to the process of this experience, which I also became a part of, and to communicate it in this fragmented manner.
In Turkey, we are accustomed to moving on to the next item on the agenda without discussing anything in depth. Then, when you want to go back and look at it, you give up because either the resources are scarce or they are inaccessible.
Özge: What you have just said reminds me of the last scene of the film. Here, your camera shows a junction that connects 4 or 5 streets to each other and a car going in and out of them. We witness the driver entering each street with urgency and excitement but anxiously coming out of every single one. This creates the feeling that this person wants to go on fiercely but never knows which direction to go. The shots taken from a hilltop also call security cameras to mind.
Aslı: I wanted this scene to be an auto-portrait that conflates my experience, research, and the feeling of constantly taking a wrong direction in the research with the history of Fatsa.
Özge: This scene also seems to reflect your subjective view on recent history. Yet, instead of taking your own camera to Fatsa, you wanted to work with a large film crew. Can you elaborate on this particular decision?
Aslı: People, who made documentaries on Fatsa, shot guerilla style to keep the budget low and not to encounter any problems with the authorities. I wanted to go to Fatsa with a big film crew and bulky equipment because taking on this task with a larger crew and budget, without feeling the need to conceal, would subtly suggest that this issue is worthy of discussing without any shame and restraint.
“191/205,” 12” LP, 7’16” and list of words, 2010 (detail).
Özge: I see a similar concern in your work 191/205 (2009). For this project, you found 191 of the 205 words banned by the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation in 1985—including “memory”, “freedom”, and “equality”—and transformed them into a rap song, in collaboration with Fuat Ergin. You thereby channeled banned words into a popular medium. In other words, you reversed the condition of interdiction and forgetting by deciding to speak loudly about it. Can we say that you wanted to normalize the perception of these issues?
Aslı: We wanted to expose the abnormality of censorship; it is increasingly normalized as we encounter it so regularly. By producing the censored words in the form of a rap song, which could be listened to only as a rap song, the listener could remain clueless about its content. Whether you know the content of the project or not, you still realize that there is an act of civil disobedience as you sing along to the song and utter the banned words.
Özge: I am also curious about the differences between working alone and working collectively. For instance, how is this reflected in In Diverse Estimation a Little Moscow?
Aslı: Working with people that I didn’t know before towards a common goal of shooting a film, observing the particular balances in the community, where everyone is assigned defined tasks and occasionally intervening as a director, made me think that we experienced a small, communal experiment. The fact that people, who got along really well before the shooting, grew apart by the end allowed for a space of observation for me since we were also working with people, who got segregated politically after the local government experiment. The whole crew experienced the difficulty of coming together, even if it was for a professional goal. In this way, we were able to see what had been achieved in Fatsa from a different perspective.
Özge: One can say that you are questioning how lapses in memory can occur, what gets stored and preserved— especially in In Diverse Estimation a Little Moscow. When we think of these lapses and discontinuities, we confront the question of how we write (hi)stories. In your project, Words Dash Against the Facade (2011), presented in the Performa11 Biennial, there are again stories that you reconstruct from collected fragments. For this project, you organized a tour where you attempted to interpret building facades.
Aslı: For Words Dash Against the Facade, I departed from a fortune-telling system about which there isn’t much information. In this divination method that is said to be used in Ancient Greek, Sumerian and Babylonian
Civilizations, people interpreted building facades. I was curious about how far one could go in interpreting facades departing from such little information. The first building we tried to interpret was Hearst Tower—a skyscraper covered with reflective glass. Because the facade of the building constantly changed with the reflected image of the surroundings, it was a good starting point for telling fortunes from the facades. If you also consider that tools of divination have historically been reflective surfaces such as mirrors, cups filled with water, this was unavoidable as an introduction to ‘divination for beginners’.
We tried to interpret another facade through the windows. We tried to decode the windows as a musical score, in which the big windows correspond to a full note and the small ones to a half note. Then, we discussed the possibilities of reading/interpreting these musical notes diagonally or from left to right.
Here, I must say that I am interested in divination methods because they are based on certain systems. For instance, if you wanted to be the inventor of a divination system consisting of a dozen volcanic stones, you could create an interpretation system from how certain combinations of stones came side by side at a certain distance. As the interpretation system solidifies, as if you invented it, the interpretation arises from the system you created and become the suggestions of the stones. Fortunetellers say, “This is what the cards are saying” because they forget that they are the ones loading the cards with meaning. The act of consulting a fortuneteller is rather narcissistic in my opinion because it arises from the desire to hear that you continue to exist in the future.
“Words Dash Against the Façade,” performance, 2011. Commissioned by Performa11, NYC. Photo by Paola Court.
Özge: This makes me think about how inanimate objects tell stories. How do objects become witnesses instead of mere documents? Forensics or the divination systems you mention seem to blur the distinctions between subject/object and evidence/witness.
Aslı: What comes to mind first is of course archeology. In forensics, objects that are considered evidence at the murder site or dead bodies speak. The process of completion in this work is also very bizarre and hypothetical. As in Meno’s Paradox, how can you know that you found what you are looking for, if you don’t know what you are looking for?
Özge: Here we can go back to the art historian we talked about at the beginning of our conversation. In writing the “history of things”, how can we implicate the motivations for the making of objects in the historical narrative and what is the role of biography in this context? Your relationship with this artist book is significant right at this point. You are the artist analyzed in the book and you also are acting as the editor of this analysis.
Aslı: This is akin to an archeologist’s situation, who defines the shape of an artifact by integrating the fragments: one day, you may decide to substitute the shape of the integrated whole with another one. Likewise, I can think of my practice through different relationships as long as I continue to produce.
Özge: And how did commissioning texts from writers on your own work complicate these relationships?
Aslı: Considering that this book is both a monograph and an autobiography, one finds herself making suggestions on how to read the works. Archeologists, too, decide to dig a certain site based on their prejudices about the ancient culture that they are looking for and where it might be found, even depending on their ideological leanings. For example, the reason Germans played such an active role in the Boğazköy excavations in the 30s is the possibility of constructing a lineage with an Aryan race from Central Asia through a potential similarity with Hittites, thus demarcating their place of origin from the rest of Europe. Bruce Chatwin goes to Patagonia with a preconceived idea based on what he has read and heard. These sound like solutions to Meno’s Paradox. If you are lucky enough, you can find something else, while looking for something.
October 29, 2012
Contemporary Art Museums, Presumed Ruptures, and Urgent Demands
The below text is commissioned by Ceren Erdem, guest editor of ArteEast Quaterly. Published in ArteEast Quaterly, October 2012.
Contemporary art collections and museums are in a state of flux. In the last twenty years, private collectors have gained enormous visibility, and now have the strength not only to manipulate the art market but also to lead art institutions and influence the circulation of art works around the world. While public museums in Europe are suffering severe budget cuts, private museums continue to spread as a result of growing economies in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Are these new institutions merely symbolic capital? Do they have the potential to create new support structures for the arts? And more importantly, how can they respond to the urge to rewrite histories as well as the changing needs of artists and other art practitioners?
I began articulating these questions through a publication I edited in 2010, titled How to Begin: Envisioning the Impact of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (i). For this project, I commissioned five texts from a group of international artists, writers, and curators—including Regine Basha, Hassan Khan, Sohrab Mohebbi, Didem Özbek, and Sarah Rifky—to imagine the possible effects of the planned museum on their own practices in particular, and the art scenes of the Middle East in general. The reason why I chose to focus on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi was not because it was a relatively easy target as there was an already existing literature critical of grandiose and semi-autonomous Guggenheim satellite museums. This discussion had surfaced with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao that was opened in 1997. On the one hand, the museum enhanced the city’s image, attracted intellectual and financial capital, and served as the engine of an economic transformation to a services city (ii). On the other hand, the museum has been severely criticized for absorbing local financial resources allocated for arts and culture and thus monopolizing itself; promoting its architecture rather than the collection; and adopting the logic of gentrification, among others(iii). The discussion on the museum in Abu Dhabi had the risk of getting caught in similar binaries, which would not complicate the already existing arguments about the museum’s expansion strategy.
Nor was I encouraged by sweeping and condescending generalizations such as the following quote that appeared in a major art magazine in the US: “Is it possible, some academics and art experts ask, to create an ‘oasis of culture’ in a place that has no history of museums, no community of artists to speak of, no collectors, no donors, and where the local passions run to falcons and racehorses rather than Pablo Picasso and Jeff Koons?” (iv). I was certainly amused by such an approach but definitely not interested in taking a defensive position about the existing art infrastructures in the region. The motivation for How to Begin? rather came from the urgency of being part of a community that does not simply complain but articulate demands from a new support structure that casts a regional coverage area for its programming and collection.
At the early stages of How to Begin?, the conversations about the planned museum revolved around the decision-makers while the museum’s operations remained opaque, and all strategic plans and arguments were conjectural. For instance, knowing that the museum would try to adapt itself to an art infrastructure it was unfamiliar with, we were told that it had to develop new strategies, which at some point included the invitation of a group of regional curators and art directors to be in an informal advisory board for the collection. Regine Basha writes in her text titled “The Agreement”: “It is so interesting to see this kind of flattening of production and hierarchies happening—the museum or school once being ‘teacher’ is now the student,” (v). Such decisions on the part of the museum eventually reveal the contested questions about the ethics of collaboration and the positioning of the institution—how is it possible to engage with local histories and create a critical edge at the same time? In “In Defense of the Corrupt Intellectual,” Hassan Khan reverses this question and asks how the new contemporary museums can reveal the already existing binaries that dominate the local cultural scenes.
In his text, Khan invokes the figure of the corrupt intellectual to reclaim local histories when new contemporary art museums have the potential to dehistoricize the contemporary by sidelining the past to establish a new discourse of power and knowledge. “This recuperation is concerned with the question of how to understand cultural production, namely, by means of an insistence on what is always contextual,” Khan writes, “not as a source of explanation as much as the site of accents, of something that can never be taken for granted and assumed to be a basic right, of what is, by definition, always a constant series of negotiations that one finds strangely productive,” (vi). To my mind, the figure of the corrupt intellectual represents an affirmation of an already existing system or order, dependent on validation and populist recognition. This figure is indeed helpful for challenging the tired dichotomies between what is modern and contemporary, the presumed ruptures that have been mostly ignored by institutions of contemporary art, at least in my immediate environment in Turkey.
As a curator and critic based in Istanbul, I operate in a cultural scene that is undergoing a major transition characterized by booming buying power, a growing art market, and resulting in a rising demand for new institutions. This rapid change, however, is coupled with a jarring lack of established collections of art from the last century. Turkey has favored a model of contemporary art philanthropy led by the private sector since the 1980s, and there have been a rising number of private museums in the first decade of the 2000s, including Istanbul Modern, Pera Museum, and Sabanci Museum that have different type of collections ranging from contemporary art to calligraphic art and Orientalist art, among others. Yet it is a recent phenomenon that private and corporate collections are taking the lead to establish museums solely dedicated to contemporary art: Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Borusan Contemporary, and the prospective museum of the Vehbi Koç Foundation are the most prominent examples. These museums have the potential to canonize certain contemporary practices over others, especially when there are no public contemporary art museums in the country. These institutions are therefore capable of rewriting art histories and possibly enforcing or ignoring the connection of local art production to its local predecessors.
In her recent book titled Ottoman Painting: Reflections of Western Art from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic, art historian Wendy Shaw argues that contemporary artists in Turkey often adopt local subject matters and use a visual language that is unfamiliar if not unintelligible to local audiences beyond the professional circles. Shaw adds that, with the support of transnational art events, such as the Istanbul Biennial, international residencies, as well as the Internet, artists “turn away from the local legacy and write themselves into the global” while failing to acknowledge that there has been a continuous connection between the visual arts and social change for almost two centuries (vii). This is not to say that the readings of contemporary art should be disinterested in transnational or international context and simply turn to the local history. Shaw’s argument rather emphasizes that the visual arts have reflected social change for a long time, and it is high time that we moved beyond formalist readings, explored artistic intentions and their link to social histories, and investigated why and how artists had a disposition to revolutionary and often nationalist order in the last two centuries. Such a task becomes more crucial when there is a tendency to isolate artists from their predecessors, and this is clearly not a brand-new phenomenon of the last decades.
Starting with the late 19th century, almost each generation of artists in this geography has promoted their more accurate and relevant practice, and repeated what their predecessors did by revoking previous visual paradigms. For instance, artist and writer Nurullah Berk (1906–1982) wrote about the 19th century Ottoman painters in 1943: “They had no claim of expressing their inner worlds. They had neither a worldview nor a philosophy. The situation in Turkey was not suitable for thinkers and artists to be interested in the movements of their time. In fact, one could not even speak of a national consciousness,” (viii). Similar to Berk, many artists in the 20th century have reconfigured political subjectivities, and at times negotiated their political identities when faced with new social realities; they experimented with medium and subject, and reflected the social change of their times, just like their 19th century peers. The common thread between these periods has been a discussion of belatedness: the claim that artists in this geography have always had to catch up with their times.
A recent example of this attitude was apparent in a statement about a private collection show that took place at santralistanbul last year in March. Titled 20 Modern Turkish Artists of the 20th Century, the exhibition included four hundred thirty works, mostly on canvas, by “modernist masters.” The collection advisor explained the emphasis of the collection to an Artinfo writer as follows: “The reason why we chose with [the collector] to focus on the Paris school of Turkish artists is because it was only then, after World War II, that our artists caught up with the times and produced works that reflected the current ‘isms,’”(ix) [emphasis the writer’s]. The contextualization of the works, modern paintings around the mid-20th century in this case, clearly ignores the different temporalities that existed in different geographies, which results in an idea of following the “better” art to be “contemporary.” This idea of belatedness, however, does not seem to be over. Today, there is still a tendency to isolate and praise contemporary art for being more experimental, more relevant, more responsible, or simply better. The presumed ruptures between modern and contemporary art in this geography therefore lie at the crux of the question of how new contemporary art museums will rewrite histories. Investigating continuities and discontinuities within the visual culture then becomes essential for historicizing the contemporary.
From the İstanbul Eindhoven-SALTVanAbbe: Post ’89 exhibition, SALT Beyoğlu, 2012.
Photo: Refik Anadol
A recent project in Istanbul presented a well-thought proposition about rewriting art histories.Istanbul Eindhoven SALTVan Abbe—a collaboration between SALT in Turkey and Van Abbemuseum in The Netherlands—has evolved over the course of three exhibitions organized at SALT from January through December this year. For the duration of approximately three months, each exhibition tackled a time period, following a reverse chronological order. The first one included works after 1989 and questioned the relevance of a universal language in the arts that has been promoted by biennials, international museums, and the globalized art market, to say the least. The second show started from the mass movements of May 1968 and ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, reflecting how artists moved beyond studio practices and engaged the viewer to complete their works. And the last one, currently in display at SALT, tackles a period between the early twentieth century and the 1960s where artists favored a self-contained artistic authority and reflected rationalistic, revolutionary, and often national orders. The two immediate premises of this series are the following: (a) SALT is a private nonprofit organization but not a museum with a collection, and therefore mimics the formal qualities of a museum throughout a year by dedicating a space to a series of collection shows, and (b) SALT selects the works to loan from the Van Abbemuseum collection, and combines them with works by artists from Turkey, suggesting new art historical readings.
SALT is a nonprofit organization that defines its mission around the word “research”; it does not collect art works, but build archives that lead the way for exhibitions and public programming that explore issues in visual culture ranging from architecture and design to social history and contemporary art. In Istanbul Eindhoven SALTVan Abbe, SALT investigates the most urgent type of art institution for the local context today where the discourse on art collecting is suspended between two positions: the impulsive and hasty attitude to buy art works for private collections, on one hand, the intellectual urge to build critical narratives around them on the other (x). This exhibition series shows that a non-collecting organization is capable of experimenting with a permanent collection by creating a one-off display model for a year, moving beyond the restrictions of a conventional museum.
From the İstanbul Eindhoven-SALTVanAbbe: 68-89 exhibition, SALT Beyoğlu, 2012.
Photo: Mustafa Hazneci
For Istanbul Eindhoven SALTVan Abbe, SALT selects works to loan from the collection based in the Netherlands, and incorporates works from Turkey that have not been part of canonized recent art histories. This approach connects local artistic production to a wider international history, and ultimately aims to complicate the already existing art historical narratives rather than complementing them. The series thus departs from a simple representation of a foreign museum collection, and interrogates the relevance of both historical and contemporary works: how have they performed historically and what do they tell us now? The project, in the end, attempts to reconcile different, if not contested, temporalities, by proposing that today’s art discourse is based on the compression of time and the proximity between geographies. Here, it is clear that the local vs. global binary, a construct of the 1990s, can only be a starting point for such an institutional framing. And to further complicate the conversation, one has to deal the “unfinished narratives” of local/national, as well as the regional/geopolitical and transnational/global (xi).
From the İstanbul Eindhoven-SALTVanAbbe: Modern Times exhibition, SALT Galata, 2012.
Photo: Mustafa Hazneci
Recent art history in Turkey, similar to many countries in the Middle East, is yet to be rewritten, and museum exhibitions constitute a major tool to reconfigure contested histories. The new private museums, and the dearth of public ones, will have the capability to establish the value of contemporary art works, and therefore to contextualize and historicize them. One of the most crucial tasks is to acknowledge the discussion on the notion of belatedness and move on to discover the emancipatory potential of the histories that are yet to be canonized. This exploration is indeed possible only if there is continuous negotiation about the public role of art works. If we hold on to the belief that art works are part of a collective memory and public heritage, this should reflect in the structural decisions in institution-building, especially in regards to its openness and publicness. This poses the question of what makes a museum public when it is not supported by the state. Is it the opening of the doors to the public, or is it about the debated transparency and accountability of the institution towards the public? Or perhaps, the private museums can be public as long as practitioners continue claiming ownership on public heritage and the memory of the visual culture and hold the institutions accountable for their decisions.
[i] How to Begin? Envisioning the Impact of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is an M.A. thesis project at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.
[ii] See Jon Azua, “Guggenheim Bilbao: ‘Coopetitive’ Strategies for the New Culture-Economy Spaces,” in Learning from the Bilbao Guggenheim, eds. Anna Maria Guasch and Joseba Zulaika (Reno, NV: Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, 2005).
[iii] See Joseba Zulaika, “Desiring Bilbao: The Krensification of the Museum and its Discontents,” in Learning from the Bilbao Guggenheim.
[iv] Sharon Waxman, “An Oasis in the Desert,” ARTNews (February 2009): 70.
[v] Regine Basha, “The Agreement,” in How to Begin?, ed. Özge Ersoy (New York: CCS Bard, 2010), 16.
[vi] Hassan Khan, “In Defense of the Corrupt Intellectual,” e-flux journal #18 (September 2010),http://www.e-flux.com/journal/in-defense-of-the-corrupt-intellectual/.
[vii] Wendy Shaw, Ottoman Painting: Reflections of Western Art from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic (London: I. B. Tauris, 2011), 4.
[viii] Berk quoted in Shaw, 170.
[ix] Sarah P. Hanson, “Retracing the Arc of Turkish Modernism, By Way of Montparnasse,”ARTINFO International Edition (March 15, 2011),http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/37207/retracing-the-arc-of-turkish-modernism-by-way-of-montparnasse.
[x] See Vasif Kortun’s introduction, Treasure Chests or Tools: Some Histories and Speculations About Art Collections conference, SALT Galata, May 26, 2012. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCHGlJ8HXC0&feature=plcp
[xi] See Okwui Enwezor’s talk at The Now Museum: Contemporary Art, Curating Histories, Alternative Models conference, organized by CUNY Graduate Center and New Museum, Friday, March 11, 2010, New York. More info: http://curatorsintl.org/journal/the_now_museum.
August 17, 2012
Curatorial Intensive in Beijing
Just back from the Curatorial Intensive seminars in Beijing, titled “The Museum of the Future?: Curating Institutions”, organized by Independent Curators International in New York and the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing between August 4-11, 2012.
Over the course of a week, we discussed how to build infrastructures for contemporary art that respond to the changing needs of artists, cultural producers, and new audiences. The case studies we talked about ranged from San Art, an artist-initiated exhibition space and reading room that aims to create a hub for local practitioners in Vietnam, to M+, a mega museum with 20,000 sqm exhibition space that is scheduled to open in 2017 in Hong Kong (which has already received a remarkable gift of 1,463 works from collector Uli Sigg with an estimated value of $165 million). Check out the program here.
July 28, 2012
On “Installation View”
(The below text was commissioned for Installation View, published by 601Artspace, New York, 2012.)
Installation View: Streaming Live from a Private New York Collection is a curatorial project by US-based artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy that explores “the private lives of artworks.” For their investigation, the McCoys have gained access to an extensive private contemporary art collection, and have selected works by William Eggleston, Fischli & Weiss, Susan Hamburger, Louise Lawler, Abelardo Morell, Gabriel Orozco, Richard Serra, Stephen Shore, Thomas Struth, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Jeff Wall. Installation View has been initiated at 601Artspace in New York City before being shown simultaneously at Collectorspace in Istanbul. In the second installation of the project, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy used twelve small screens mounted on a wall in Collectorspace’s storefront gallery in İstanbul—making the live streaming of the selected artworks available to passersby twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Through exhibitions and off-site events, Collectorspace aims to activate critical discussions on contemporary art collecting, and to provide reference points for new generations of art collectors. This dialogue between Merve Ünsal, an artist, and Özge Ersoy, Program Manager at Collectorspace, is an extension of that discursive approach.
In late December, a visitor who came to see Installation View at Collectorspace immediately raised a concern. She said, “I don’t see artworks here, I only see the event of an artwork being displayed.” For her, it seemed that the McCoys had too much control over the mediation between the viewer and the art, turning the artworks on display into props. In contrast to Louise Lawler’s works, which are solidly grounded in institutional critique, she argued that the images in Installation View were bounded by a very singular gesture—making a private collection open to the public without moving the artworks themselves. Merve and I decided to begin our dialogue where that conversation left off. —Özge Ersoy
Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Installation View, 2012. Collectorspace, Istanbul, 2012. Photograph by Sevim Sancaktar.
Özge Ersoy: Merve, I believe you had a similar opinion of Installation View. By contrast, I think the McCoys’ framing is deliberate, as in Lawler’s work. The McCoys’ position might not be an indirect form of institutional critique, but I think it is precisely their interest in the act of watching and the act of display that allows the viewer to discern the multilayered readings of the work. Through the inclusion of the tripod in Wall’s Diagonal Composition (#1) (1993) and the wrapping and electric conduit in Sugimoto’s South Bay Drive In, South Bay (1993), among other examples, the McCoys are not simply reproducing images of artworks in a private collection, but rather placing artworks in specific contexts. Showing what lays beyond the frame complicates these readings. What we have is a transformation of an immediate experience into a mediated experience. I would argue that Installation View goes beyond a live documentary or representation of artworks in a private collection. This complexity was what made the project appealing for the Collectorspace team. Some of the questions it raises for me, include: who gets to mediate the act of watching in a private collection as opposed to a public institution? And do we think about value differently when we view artworks within the context of a private collection?
Merve Ünsal: Regarding the term of “prop,” I’d like to discuss the idea of theatricality in relation to the McCoys’ work. By theatrical, I’m not referring to the setup of the exhibition at Collectorspace, slightly above the sidewalk, in a storefront. Rather, I’m referring to the definition of the term, as first suggested by the late modernist Michael Fried. He discounted Minimalism by arguing that it was theater rather than art because it required the presence of the viewer to complete it, to give it meaning, which was contrary to the Modernist conception of the artwork as self-contained entity. The McCoys further complicate the notion of theatricality by setting up artworks as their own work or their artwork. Depending on how one sees McCoys’ practice, this transformation from art to theater can only exist by turning the existing artworks into props.
ÖE: I believe that theatricality is being used here as an interpretive strategy. One could say that the works are displaced and altered from the originals, creating ambiguous, displaced or even empty images. I would rather argue that the theatricality of the McCoys’ work evokes the qualities of plurality, process, and playfulness. Installation View unsettles conventional interpretations of works when they are encountered in a private home, warehouse, or artist’s studio; and it multiplies this experience by displacing the exhibitions across two venues.
To me, what counts as theatricality is the live-time quality of the mediated experience. Regarding the video format, we are used to think the viewer as temporarily and spatially removed from the subject in the image. In real-time projection, though, there’s an instantaneous compression of time and space. In Installation View, the idea of simultaneity is doubled by the fact that the images are streaming into two locations 6000 miles apart, collapsing these far-flung places. It’s intriguing that the McCoys’ images are updated every second yet remain as a hybrid of still and moving imagery. Very small details, like the trees that shiver next to Richard Serra sculpture or the elevator door that occasionally opens and closes beside the Stephen Shore photograph, reveal that we are looking at live feed images. Here we can think about the private collection as a database—a theme that recurs throughout the McCoys’ practice. A database image can be reproduced infinitely whereas in Installation View, the live-feed images are temporary. The question then becomes: what’s the difference between this mediated reality and the database, the collection itself?
Private collections are most often understood in a way that they remove artworks from circulation. How then do we open them up to the public? When we make a selection of works available for public viewing—what does that say about the collection or the collector? Temporary, ad-hoc interventions have the potential to question the ways in which we think of making private collections public. Does public access to the collection really make it ‘public’ in the same way as a government-run institution? It is an especially relevant question in İstanbul, where private contemporary art collections are evolving into museum collections with the potential of canonizing certain contemporary practices over others, in a place where there are no public contemporary art museums.
Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Installation View, 2012. Collectorspace, Istanbul, 2012. Photograph by Sevim Sancaktar.
MÜ: ”Removing from circulation” is an apt description of how collectors are viewed by the larger community. This conception views collectors as a wedge, a blockade between the eager public and the artwork. As an artist, I find this perspective quite troubling. Private collectors at their best can provide the intellectual rigor, context, and community necessary for an artist to grow. At their worst, collectors simply provide the means by which artists sustain themselves. After all, it is only a small percentage of emerging or even mid-career artists that are collected by institutions, and with museum resources dwindling, these numbers are down worldwide. Thus, I see Collectorspace as a gesture to re-contextualize the role of private collectors. Collectorspace functions at this very permeable layer of artists, collections, public and institutions, and within this gesture, the McCoys’ work acts as an institutional critique, exposing the permeability of these various layers.
In Installation View, the relationship with the McCoy’s work with the work of other artists is uttlerly co-dependent; the work exists only as long as the cameras are streaming and capturing these other works. Despite the fact that the live streaming cameras place it in the here and now, I situate Installation View in the canon of institutional critique, with the likes of Hans Haacke, Sherri Levine, and Louise Lawler’s. In particular, I am thinking of Sherri Levine’s After Walker Evans, which derives meaning from its co-dependence with Walker’s originals, bringing up questions of authorship, craft, aura, and obviously, gender. Thus I perceive Installation View to be more in line with this period of post-modern art history than with the McCoys’ other works and I wonder why this kind of critique is happening now: Have private collections replaced public art institutions to the extent that they invite the same approaches and critiques as public institutions did forty years ago?
ÖE: This issurely one of the major questions we have been contemplating at Collectorspace. Now, with Installation View, we take this question one step further by asking: How can a private collection turn into an object for artists to experiment on and create new works? From here, I believe we could start complicating the idea of collecting as accumulation of objects, and also think, along with artists, about how to expand the models we have for exhibiting art.
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Jennifer McCoy (b. 1968) and Kevin McCoy (b. 1967) have been artistic collaborators since 1990. The McCoys completed their MFAs in Electronic Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York in 1994. Jennifer McCoy currently works as a Professor of Art at Brooklyn College, and Kevin McCoy is an Associate Professor of Art at New York University. Their work has been part of numerous exhibitions, including SITE Santa Fe Biennial–The Dissolve, Santa Fe, NM (2010); Automatic Update, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007); and Soft Rains, FACT Liverpool, UK (2003). Solo exhibitions include Abu Dhabi Is Love Forever, one step past the airport, Postmasters Gallery, New York (2011); Soft Rains #6: Suburban Horrors, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2010); Constant World, Beall Center for Art + Technology, University of California, Irvine, CA (2008); Tiny, Funny, Big and Sad, British Film Institute Galleries Southbank, London, UK (2007). The McCoys live and work in New York.
July 20, 2012
Art Unlimited Temmuz-Ağustos 2012
July 20, 2012
Sanat Koleksiyonları: Hazine Sandıkları, Araçlar ve Diğer Olasılıklar
Art Unlimited Temmuz-Ağustos 2012 sayısında yayınlanmıştır.
Koleksiyonculuk ve müzecilik alanında dengeler değişiyor. Son otuz senede görünürlüğü giderek artan koleksiyonerler, sadece sanat pazarı üzerinde değil, kurum inşası ve sergi dolaşımı alanında kaydadeğer söz hakkına sahip oldu. Özellikle Asya, Orta Doğu ve Latin Amerika’da özel girişimle açılan müzeler, yerkürenin doğu-güney ekseninde büyüyen ekonomilerle artan alım gücü ve bunlara bağlı olarak yeni kurumlara duyulan ihtiyacın işareti olarak okunabilir. Bu şartlarda oluşan sanat koleksiyonları sembolik birer sermayeden mi ibaret? Diğer tarafta bütçe kesintilerinden muzdarip kamu müzeleri nasıl yeniden yapılanıyor? Daha önemlisi, sanatçıların, kültür üreticilerinin ve izleyicilerin büyümekte olan koleksiyon ve müzelerden beklentileri nedir? 25-26 Mayıs’ta SALT Galata’da düzenlenen “Hazine Sandıkları veya Araçlar” sempozyumunun çıkış noktasında bu sorular yer alıyor.
Sempozyumun başlığı, koleksiyonculuktaki iki geleneğe işaret etmekte. İlki, geçmişi soylu ailelerin ganimetlerini sergilemesine dayanan, Rönesans’ın nadire kabinelerine uzanan hazine sandıkları. İkincisi ise, on yedinci yüzyılın sonunda olgunlaşmaya başlayan ve sömürgecilikle dünyanın birçok yerine ulaşan, müzeyi bir tasnif mekânı, koleksiyonu ise eğitim aracı olarak gören anlayış. Van Abbemuseum direktörü Charles Esche’nin de söylediği gibi, “koleksiyonu eğitim amaçlı kullanan müzeler, sadece yeni değerleri yansıtmaz; bu değerlerin yaratıldığı mekân haline gelir”. Söz konusu anlayışa örnek verilebilecek olan burjuva devriminin simgesi Louvre Müzesi (1793) ve ansiklopedik müzelerin öncüsü The British Museum (1753) toplum ve kimlik inşasına soyunmuşluklarıyla biliniyor. Bu tavrın devamı olarak okunabilecek, ulusal bir görsel kültür yaratma hedefiyle kurulan Resim ve Heykel Müzesi (1937) de Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin modernleşme sembolü olarak addedilebilir.
Modernizmin mirasını sorgularken, yukarıda bahsi geçen iki koleksiyon modeli de işlevini yitirmiş gibi gözüküyor. Ne kapalı kapılar ardında değerli objeleri saklama fikri, ne de evrensel bilginin teşhir edildiği, akılcı ve ansiklopedik müze anlayışı bize yeterli kaynak sunabilmekte. Sanat koleksiyonlarının rolünü, söz konusu iki modelin bize öğretebileceklerini göz ardı etmeden yeniden tahayyül etmemiz gerektiği açık.
Günümüzde birçok müze ve koleksiyon modeli var. Finansal destek ve hamilik denildiğinde, son otuz senede yıldızı parlayan, özel girişime dayalı müze modeli öne çıkıyor. Bu değişimin sebeplerinden bir tanesi, özel koleksiyonerlerin kamu müzelerine bağış yapmaktan vazgeçip kendi kurumlarını açmaya başlamaları. Bir yanda, Amerika’daki De Menil Koleksiyonu Müzesi ve Rubell Ailesi Koleksiyonu gibi kurumsallaşan ve örnek alınan köklü mekânlardan söz edilebilir. Diğer yanda ise, toptan sanat alım-satımlarıyla ünlenen Charles Saatchi, medya kuruluşlarıyla kuvvetlenen Ukraynalı işadamı Victor Pinchuk ve lüks endüstrisinin en büyük patronlarından François Pinault gibi milyarderlerin önayak olduğu kurumlar sürekli eleştiri oklarına maruz kalıyor. Bu koleksiyonerler hem sanat pazarını manipüle etmekle, hem gösteriş ve prestij merakıyla, hem de sanatın entelektüel sermayesini satın almakla suçlanıyor.
Artan alım gücü ve yükselen servetlerin kontrolünde yeni himaye rejimleri yaratılırken, Avrupa’daki refah devleti sisteminin devamı olan kamu müzelerinin geleceği çok parlak değil. Radikal bütçe kesintilerine ilişkin haberler birbiri ardına geliyor. Artık kamu müzeleri yalnızca koleksiyonlarını muhafaza etme ve sergileme başarılarıyla değil, eğlence ve turizm sektörlerine yaptıkları katkılarla da değerlendiriliyor. Bunun yanısıra, özel girişimlerin kamu kurumlarıyla işbirliğine soyunduğunu görüyoruz. Örneğin, 2010 sonunda Doha’da kapılarını halka açan Mathaf Arap Modern Sanat Müzesi’nin tarihi, yirmi sene önce koleksiyonerliğe başlamış olan Şeyh Hassan’a dayanıyor. Bugün Katar Müzesi Yönetimi’nce yönlendirilen kurum, özelden kamusala evrilen bir melezliğe sahip. Ancak bu modelin de sürdürülebilirliği tartışma konusu.
Farklı koleksiyon ve müze yapılarını değerlendirirken sorulması gereken başlıca soru ise şu: Sanat koleksiyonlarını oluşturma ve sergileme görevi kime ait? Bir taraftan, kimilerine göre sınırlayıcı ve sansürcü addedilen, kimilerinceyse maddi olarak yetersiz bulunan devlet desteğine duyulan güven giderek azalıyor. Diğer yandan, özel koleksiyonların başına buyruk kararları ve keyfi tavırlarına dair güncel kuşkular söz konusu. O halde, koleksiyonlar ve müzeler için yeni finansman modelleri, yeni kurgular, yeni hedefler nasıl belirlenmeli? Koleksiyonlar hangi hikayeleri kimin ağzından anlatmalı, nasıl bir tarih sorgusu yapmalı?
Bu soruları Türkiye özelinde de değerlendirmek şart. SALT Araştırma ve Programlar Direktörü Vasıf Kortun’a göre Türkiye’deki vaziyet hali hazırda askıya alınmış durumda; avcı-toplayıcı çevikliği ve aceleciliğiyle koleksiyon inşa eden kurumlar ile koleksiyon oluşturmaya dair yapılan eleştirel söylem üretimi arasında seyrediyoruz. Türkiye’de, son yüzyılı konu ve dert edinen, gerek yerel, gerek bölgesel, gerekse uluslararası koleksiyonların eksiklikleri olduğu aşikâr. “Bu coğrafyada yaşanan yirminci yüzyılın öyküsü, ulus inşasıyla paralel giden bir bellek kaybı öyküsüdür.” diyor Kortun. Bu dönem, görsel sanatların baştan yaratılmaya çalışıldığı, geleneksel sanatlara sırt çevrildiği, devletin sanatı önce muasırlaşma sürecinde işlevselleştirdiği sonra da destekten elini eteğini çektiği, askeri darbelerin sanat üretimine ağır sekte vurduğu bir zamana denk geliyor. Bu süreçteki sanat üretimlerine dair literatür halen yazılmayı beklemekte. Peki bu durum sanat tarihi yazımında geride kalmışlık mı demek? Böylesi kanonize edilmemiş bir tarihi, onun sahip olduğu savunulabilecek özgürleştirici ve dönüştürücü potansiyeli ortaya çıkararak ele almak mümkün mü?
Güncel sanat müzeleri, sanat tarihine dâhil olmuş, tabir yerindeyse seçilmiş işleri koruyan geleneksel müze anlayışından uzak olabilir. Geçmişi ele almayarak günceli tarihsizleştirdiği ve kendi içinde bir bilgi iktidarı kurduğuna dair eleştiriler olsa da, güncel sanat müzeleri, koleksiyon kurumundan ne beklediğimize dair sorular soracak, bu konuda deneysellik riskini alacak güce sahip. Özellikle 1989 sonrasında kurulan müzeler, geleneksel tasnifleme ve sınıflandırma yöntemlerini kullanmıyor. Küratöryel duruşlar kuvvet kazanırken, tarih yeniden ele alınıyor, yeni anlatılar yaratılıyor. Burada öncelik, bugüne ve geçmişe farklı bir bakış açısı getirebilmek.
Ljubljana’daki Moderna galerija’nın direktörü Zdenka Badovinac, müzeler tarihi nasıl ele alabilir sorusuna şu yanıtı veriyor: “Tekrar ve tekrar”. Badovinac’a göre ‘eleştirel müze’ kurmak, sanatın neoliberal ekonomide araçsallaştırılmasına karşı çıkarak ve anaakım müzelerden sıyrılarak mümkün olabilir. Bu tavır, sürekli yeni yüzler, yeni coğrafi bölgeler, yeni mecralar beklentisinde olan müze anlayışından uzaklaşmak ve her sanatsal hareketin temsilini yapmaya çalışmamakla yakından ilişkili. Dolayısıyla eleştirel müzeciliğin yolu, sergilediği sanat işleriyle yeni anlatılar kurmak ve sanat üretimiyle yazımını temsilî hale getirip tektipleştirmemekten, onu karmaşıklaştırmaktan geçiyor. Kültüre dair baskın ve yerleşmiş değerleri sorgulamak burada kilit rol oynuyor. “Bu da, sanat işlerinin tarihte söylediklerini ve bugün ifade edebileceklerini yeniden ele almakla, tekrardan korkmamakla mümkün.” diyor Badovinac.
Türkiye özelinde ‘eleştirel müzeler’ yaratmak mümkün mü sorusu sormak işten değil. Kurumlar koleksiyonlarını bu doğrultuda yeniden ele alsa da, kamu mirası konusunu tartışmaya devam etmek şart. Araştırmacı küratör Steven ten Thije, bu konudaki hassasiyeti şöyle ifade ediyor: “Koleksiyonerseniz, zevkinize göre, merakınıza göre, birçok farklı nedenle iş topluyor olabilirsiniz; veya küratörseniz birçok farklı şekilde pratiğinizi icra edebilirsiniz. Ancak sanatın kamusal bir işlevi olduğuna inanıyorsanız, bu işlevin yapısal olarak nasıl şekil aldığına dikkat etmeniz gerekiyor”. Koleksiyonların ve özel müzelerin kamuyla ilişkileri ve tarihi ele alma biçimlerine dair kararları ne kadar şeffaf sorusu burada önem kazanmakta. Peki son dönemde sanatçılarla iletişimi yüzünden sertçe eleştirilen İstanbul Modern, keyfi kararlarıyla gündeme gelen Elgiz Çağdaş Sanat Müzesi ve sicilini yeni oluşturmaya çalışan Borusan Contemporary gibi kurumlar bu tartışmalara ne kadar müdahil olabiliyor?
Türkiye’de özel koleksiyonların ve vakıf koleksiyonlarının hızlıca kurumsallaştığı bir süreci yaşarken, bu modellere dair sorgulama biçimleri geliştirmek şart. Eylül 2011’de İstanbul’da ilk mekânını açan Collectorspace’in kurucu direktörü Haro Cümbüşyan, “sanat işine sahip olduğu için koleksiyoner her istediğini yapma özgürlüğüne sahiptir” fikrinin sorgulanması gerektiğini belirtiyor. Dolayısıyla özel koleksiyonerlerin sanat işine, sanatçıya ve topluma karşı sorumlulukları üzerine düşünmenin aciliyeti ortada. “Özel koleksiyonları eleştirel bir değerlendirmeden geçirmek mümkün mü?” sorusunu ortaya atan Cümbüşyan, projesini şöyle özetliyor: “Özel koleksiyonların duvarlarını yıkmak değil, bu duvarları daha geçirgen yapmaya gayret ediyoruz”.
“Hayatımda ilk defa, ‘post’ değil, ‘pre’ (öncesi) bir dönemin içinde olduğumuza inanıyorum.” diyor Charles Esche, “1990’larda ve 2000’lerde tartışılan postmodernizm, postyapısalcılık, postkomüzim, postsömürgecilik sürecinde değiliz artık. Yeni bir dönemi şekillendirmek üzereyiz ve Occupy hareketi olası değişimlere işaret ediyor olabilir”. İçinde olduğumuz dönüşümü sorgulamanın, koleksiyon ve kamusallık ilişkisini tartışmanın, bu meselelere ilişkin taleplerde bulunmanın zamanı. Türkiye özelinde sorulması gereken acil sorular ortada. Özel koleksiyonlar eleştiriden muaf mı ve bunları kamuya açmak ne anlama geliyor? Özel müzelerin kamu mirasıyla ilişkisi ve kamuya karşı sorumlulukları nedir? Şüphesiz ki, bu soruların muhatabı sadece müze profesyonelleri değil, aynı zamanda koleksiyonların temelini oluşturan sanatçıların, kültür üreticilerinin ve izleyicilerin ta kendileri.