Museography

MUSEOGRAPHY

Museums. Corporate Museums. Who is responsible for what, at what stage of planning, in the face of what juridical body? Is it really this or that director and his or her corporate ideas or is it the nation state that is responsible for these globalised and corporatized museums? There are no answers to these questions. Museums directors are at once responsible for corporate museum culture and a pawn in the much wider problem of globalisation. In a situation where there is no longer any identifiable enemy or adversary, where the idea of political responsibility has become incalculable, the question then needs to be rephrased: How is one to think the future of museums when they can no longer be articulated by the promise of emancipation? Perhaps the only answer to this question is to refuse to think this ideal (a non-corporatized museum, for example) as something lying dormant somewhere in the future and awaiting its eschatological moment, but as an act to be performed here and now and this whatever its state of corporatization or ideality. The perfect museum is not a goal to be attained, but a presupposition that is not only in need of constant verification, but is also in a constant state of verification.


Free from the idea of an ideal museum as promise, the museum then becomes a creative act that shapes or plasticizes what is to-come: the multifaceted and contradictory world that is ours today. This new museum gesture has really only one aim, that of realising itself as an enterprise without objective. It is without objective because the museum no longer has sense, but is sense in the process of making sense even if, nowadays, it takes on the most hideous corporate body. It is what Kant understood with the famous expression “purposiveness without purpose” or what Agamben understands as pure gesturality or pure mediality. This creative act of realising a museum without objective can only take place through an incalculable number of political agencies in and outside of the institution or the global market. The aim of this act is not to propose a praxis, but to relay the museum not to an end in itself, but to an always re-iterated mediality. In other words, the aim is to put forward a museum as a structured performance for the continuing questioning—that is, for the continuing invention—of the very idea of the museum.

A selective bibliography on the curatorial as distinguished from curating.

A Museums Undergraduate Course, taught between 2001 and 2014.

“The marvellous objects the sight of which had just revealed the whole of known creation, plunged his soul in the dejection which the scientific vision of unknown creations produces in a philosophical mind.” Honoré de Balzac.