Other than the fact I was surrounded by Semyon Faibisovich’s paintings on the top floor at Ikon, Imagining Museums public forum was really good.
Jonathan Watkins introduced the day as not wanting to ‘dwell’ on the feasibility study rather he wanted to look at, define and test the words ‘museum,’ ‘contemporary’ and ‘art.’
In the morning Helen Legg chaired a discussion entitled Collecting & Curating: What Now? with panellists Huang Du, Anna Gallagher, Frances Morris, Ekaterina Degot and Enrique Juncosa. Here are some nice quotes and thoughts from the first session:
HL: Why and for whom should we collect?
FM: How do you capture the immaterial? Collecting alone is an art.
ED: Independent curators in the early 90s were not involved in collections and collecting which contributed to the over creation of work. How does the role of an independent curator affect the collecting of work and its production? It’s not necessary to own art to experience it: less Art, more understanding and discussion of Art. Social Value – Exchange Value – Use Value.
HL: Work of art versus work of interpretation; collecting from scratch allows Birmingham to reconsider what is art history.
AG: Birmingham is in a lucky position to examine what exists and what could be.
ED: Embrace the fetishism and accumulation of capital.
EJ: A museum shouldn’t be a teacher; it should be a lover and a friend.
HL: Conclusion – it’s like the chicken and the egg. What comes first? The audience or the collection?