Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Worth Consideration: Doug Borwick on Questioning Institutional Assumptions

I already RT'd this on Twitter, but wanted to call attention on the blog as well. Over at Artsjournal, arts-engagement consultant Doug Borwick has written a brief post about the value of reexamining some basic arts-engagement assumptions: namely, the belief that art need the be-all and end-all of an art institution's focus.

As Borwick writes,

the deification of art removes (or at least distances) it from its role in human experience. And it is that role that is crucial. Isn’t it the power the arts have in our own lives that drew us to the field? In addition, and this is the important part with respect to engagement, focus on the art as opposed to its role in individuals’ lives makes it easier to (unconsciously) ignore the fact that many are not moved by what we do. The art-focused view has the subliminal effect of supporting the “If we build it . . .” mindset. This impedes the potential for community engagement. 

(Bolding is the author's.)

Though I really love the way art objects manage to speak directly to various people through space and time, I appreciate the point he is trying to make—that my overvaluing the object in a material sense, we may be downplaying the human experiences around it which give it other kinds of community and individual value.

Read the whole post over at Engaging Matters.

1 comment:

Leah Sandals said...

Sorry, that should be "by" not "my". I should seriously rethink the "unedited" premise of this blog!