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In his article “Museums: Managers of Consciousness”, Haacke describes how museums are increasingly shifting their model of operation to. They are, if you want to put it in positive terms, great educational institutions. If you want to put it in negati ” – Hans Haacke quotes from Haacke H.’Museums, managers of consciousness’ B. Wallis (Ed.), Hans Haacke: unfinished business, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York and MIT.

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Adherents of the doctrine believe that art does not and should haake reflect the squabbles of the day. Most shows in large New York museums are now sponsored by corporations. Indeed, they usually present themselves as educational organizations and consider education as one of their primary responsibilities.

Supervisory boards are becoming aware of this fact.

Of course, all these and other skills haacle been employed for decades by art-world denizens of the old school. It is usually required that, at least to the public, institutions appear nonpartisan. The adjustments that museums make in the selection and promotion of works for exhibition and in the way they present them create a climate that supports prevailing distribution of power and capital and persuades the populace that the status quo is the natural and best order of things.

And it is, of course, this misunderstanding of the role that products of the consciousness industry play which constitutes the indispensable base for all corporate strategies of consciousnrss.

Conversations of Theory

As a shrewd businessman, Ludwig used the money to establish a foundation that owns shares in his company. Haacke says art by nature is not an actual commodity, its meaning changes due to the amount of exposure it receives. In New York and possibly elsewhere, real-estate speculators follow with great interest the move of artists into low-rent commercial and residential areas. I think they do so for good reason. To compound the financial problems, many governments, facing huge deficits-often due to sizable expansion of military budgets-cut their support for social services as well as their arts funding.


All players, though, usually see to it that the serene facade of the consciousnsss temple is preserved. One of the most spectacular recent examples has been the de facto takeover of museums among others, museums in Cologne, Vienna, and Aachen that received or believed they would receive gifts from the German collector Peter Ludwig.

Then came the recessions of the s and s. Suggestive of religious connotations, art, the production and the object itself has a mystical inference. However, the state of affairs is not haxcke different in public museums in other parts of the world.

I interviewed both the curator of the museum and the director of development to discover their experiences working with corporate sponsors. It seems worthwhile here to extrapolate from and to expand upon Enzensberger’s thoughts for a discussion of the role museums and other art-exhibiting institutions play.

Rather than sponsoring intelligent, critical awareness, museums thus tend to foster appeasement. Staying within the acceptable range of divergent views must be perceived as the natural thing to do. Private donors came on board with attractive collections.

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Keep going, good work vonsciousness far! As a matter of fact, I have serious reservations about their training, the mentality it fosters, and the consequences it will have. It is well-documented that Documenta is held in an out-of-the-way place like Kassel and given economic support by the city, state, and federal government because it was assumed that Kassel would be put on the map by an international art exhibition. More recently, Ludwig recapitalized his company by selling a collection of medieval manuscripts to the J.

No citation, sorry, I lent my copy and it walked In nondictatorial societies, the induction into and the maintenance of a particular way of thinking and seeing must be performed with subtlety in order to succeed.

The artistic staff is not exempt from the strain of the bottom-line; as curators decide which works of art to include in an exhibition, they must keep in mind what artists and artworks will attract the largest crowds and which ones might offend or deter board members, donors, and corporate sponsors.

Trained by prestigious business schools, they are convinced that art can and should be managed like the production and marketing of other goods. On the other hand, a new breed has recently appeared on the industrial landscape: The consciousness is a result of environment and social proclivity. It is not uncommon that messages are received in a garbled, distorted form; they may even relay the opposite of what was intended not to mention the kinds of creative confusion and muddle-headedness that can accompany the art work’s production.


Hans Haacke

Mayor Koch, always a friend to the realtors who stuff his campaign chest, tried recently to plant artists into particular streets on haacek Lower East Side to accomplish what is euphemistically called the ,useums of a neighborhood, but what in fact means squeezing out an indigenous poor population in order to attract developers of high-rent housing.

Naturally, museums work in the vineyards of consciousness. They are assisted by paid advisors, accountants, lawyers, and public relations agents.

Artists, as much as galleries, museums, and journalists not excluding art historianshesitate to discuss the industrial aspect of their activities. To say that this change might have consequences beyond the confines manageers the institution and that it affects the type of art that is and will be produced therefore can sound like over-dramatization. A recent, much-noticed instance of Saatchi influence was the Tate’s Schnabel show, which consisted almost entirely of works from the Saatchis’ collection.

How far the Saatchis in London will get in dominating the Tate Gallery’s Patrons of New Art-and thereby the museum’s policies for contemporary art-is currently watched with the same fascination and nervousness as developments in the Kremlin. That doctrine has an avant-garde historical veneer and in its time did perform a liberating role. Haacke exclaims that artist can take back the power of art by using alternative showing spaces.