It’s the number of times I deemed something profound, significant, inspiring, useful, compelling etc. in a specific text, based on my current knowledge. This makes this number both extremely personal and potentially very telling.
Joy Shellard recounts growing up in the museum during WWII in a book entitled A Child of the Home Front. Anecdotes of her youth are set against the backdrop of not only war, but living in a museum.
Providing sources from the art world, these texts show outputs and activities can stimulate reach, visibility, understanding and outcomes. This qualifies the book as a key text, fuelling my proposition of a ‘Curator of Research’ operating independently, or within the contemporary institution working with academics to produce multiple forms.
It’s people like Davis that have started to inform my ethical position; not progress versus preservation, but ‘progress for preservation’, research that negotiates successfully between the two, or makes both equal stakeholders in its investment, outcomes and impact.
When it comes to knowledge transfer, presentation and engagement it’s the translators, facilitators and organisers of the world that can produce the final pieces of the puzzle.
According to Armstrong & de Botton (2013) and subsequently in de Botton’s talk (The School of Life, 2013) the impact of art is often not what it should be because the frame is wrong, we aren’t actively encouraged to bring ourselves to it, or see ourselves in it.
To formalise this idea, I distilled de Botton’s sentence into something visual, an artwork as a symbol. With the regal portrait prevalent in 17th century european art I decided to re-appropriate an etching of La Rochefoucauld, adding the blue bird (representing the Twitter logo) and the hand upon which it perches.
To give some perspective; just imagine if overnight manufacturer’s outputs could only be found in written form in libraries and the knowledge economy took over all advertising and the high street. The thought of that illustrates how unbalanced those two economies are in their relationship with the public.
Edward Bernays (Lucian Freud’s nephew) quickly realised that “what could be done for a nation at war could be done for organizations and people in a nation at peace” (Bernays, 1994) …and duly opened a ‘public relations’ business in New York.
In an academic, art or curatorial context it’s more helpful to think of ‘accessibility’ as providing a re-framing, entry point or window to the original work so that the viewer stands a chance of understanding it in a short space of time.
Art [in it’s many forms] is a very emotional sport, but is still one of the most successful, efficient and romantic ways of showing concepts and ideas to an audience that civilisation has invented so far. This is one reason why modern art’s job is not only to show us who we are, but also to help us.