mat (coagula) wrote,
mat
coagula

Some Thoughts After Yet More MOCA Drama

Never considered MOCA to be "An Artists' Museum". Always a palace of the 1% ...That is the role of Institutions.
Individuals storm the gates. The idea that any break thru and those then change things is more mythical than "Star Wars".
The idea of "critiquing from within" or "sharing the stories of others" is a stale masquerade, a Mardi Gras in November, maybe serious as a cotillion rehearsal but more juvenile.
Everyone wants the power of Mister Burns but nobody wants to be an out-of-touch fuddy-duddy. Everyone wants the power of shaping art history but they also want that power to get them a cameo on a couture catwalk where they will strut like it was just a lucky accident that happened to the deserving for once.
Now the pretense has been ratcheted up a notch - the academics want to be given the keys to the kingdom with the express written intent of tearing apart the institution. Is it up to those of us who have been saying "You in Power Suck" to say "But Stay There and Keep Your Power So That We Have Something to React Against"... Might that be the battle cry in an era where radicalism is a career strategy with corporate backing and champagne branded sponsorship?
The cry was for museums to be inclusive but some white elites think that if it is going to be diverse than its fundamental presence must be altered (their egos won't let them see themselves in the role of the fuddy duddy).THey just won't let anyone else into their mom and dad's museum, they have to change it into a public picnic in order to feel safe having ten percent nonwhite, twenty percent non-weinered inclusion. The subtext of their Hacktivism: "You, my temporary guests, included on my largesse that is at best an extended lark during our perestroika moment, you just aren't good enough for the Hallowed Halls".
Just as the ubiquity of academia in the art world changed the notion of the studio art teacher as a bittersweetly removed also-ran in the quest for art historical inclusion to a well-financed "player on the scene", so to has the academia made institutions collegial co-minglings of one-percenter trusteeship whose wealth-crimes nobody ever really prosecutes with credentialed-yet-specious Pee-Aitch-Deeze whose catalog essays nobody ever really reads.
I just want to go somewhere with amazing art that is clean and well-lit, quiet -not stuffy but almost sacred- where I can impress my date and not regret skipping a movie. That used to be ninety percent of the museums. Now it is ten perecent while everything else is a careerist-lubed-fisting-first rimjob that fast-tracks the friends of friends and favors of board members and ...ah shit, maybe i was always this way and I just see it more clearly as the longer I've been in the art world.
It is just funny that White Academia insists on taking over in a very specific way, consistently, where everything appears inclusive but nothing is allowed to compete with history (as the past has been deconstructed). How collegial, how bigoted (softly lowered expectations with a smile and a deadly reminder of just WHO raised you "up"), how sexist too, as career feminists™ stab female (and female-identifying) colleagues in the back just as ruthlessly and efficiently as the apocryphal Straight White Male).
The "Man" still lauughs, still gets paid, still cleans up at the end of the night, still owns saloon where you drown your sorrows and still puts his kid thru college without needing financial aid.
But your whole career implies that you know this without ever facing it. You eluder you, you will never be a fuddy duddy though, nope. No way.
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