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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That doctrine has an avant-garde historical veneer and in its time did perform a liberating role. It is perhaps not surprising that many museums indignantly reject the notion that they provide a biased view of the works in their custody. 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 persuasion.

Indeed, they usually present themselves as educational organizations and consider education as one of their primary responsibilities. They also happen to be more interested in culture than other groups on the political spectrum. With the 19 th century credence that art is made for arts sake, reinforces the magical aspects of art that alludes to a higher power, and because of this allegation asserts it has little bias.

Traditionally, however, the old-timers are shy in admitting to themselves and others the industrial character of their activities and most still do not view themselves as managers. Elsewhere, city governments have recognized the importance of the art industry.

Conversations of Theory

Thus the income from this capital remains untaxed and, in effect, the ordinary taxpayer consciousneess up subsidizing Ludwig’s power ambitions in the art world. 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.

It is, in fact, not our private property, homegrown and home to retire to. Posted by Brosia at 2: Keep going, good work so far! 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.


And they also know that they have to keep their institution in the limelight. Although the product under discussion appears to be quite slippery, it is by no means inconsequential, as cultural functionaries from Moscow to Washington make clear every day.

Hans Haacke

Haacke views the corporate-driven museum as a potentially dangerous political instrument. Theorists like Bourdieu, Debray, and Latour are good at repositioning the questions in institutional and symbolic value contexts.

In other countries the outcome of elections can have a direct bearing on museum policies. A recent, much-noticed instance of Saatchi influence was the Tate’s Schnabel show, which consisted almost entirely of works from the Saatchis’ collection. There are natural and honorable allegiances as much as there are forced marriages and marriages of convenience.

They have understood, sometimes better than the people who work in the leisure suits of culture, that the term “culture” camouflages the social and political consequences resulting from the industrial distribution of consciousness. The survival of the institution and personal careers are often at stake.

Museums have to be maintained either by public agencies-the tradition in Europe-or through donations from private individuals and philanthropic organizations, as has been the pattern in the United States.

On the contrary, they are usually convinced that their activities are in the best interests of art. Without exerting any direct pressure, corporations have effectively gained a veto in museums, even though their financial contribution often covers only a fraction of the costs of an exhibition. That artist bypassing museums and corporate art funding all together, they can take back their meaning and their power.

Adherents of the doctrine believe that art does not and should not reflect the squabbles of the day. Certainly, shows that could promote critical awareness, present products of consciousness dialectically and in relation to the social world, or question relations of power have a slim chance of being approved-not only because they are unlikely to attract corporate funding, but also because they could sour relations with potential sponsors for other shows.


More recently, Ludwig recapitalized his company by selling a collection of medieval manuscripts to the J. It follows that political considerations play a role in the appointment of museum directors. Marketing and development departments are emerging and expanding, indicating the extent to which mabagers museums feel pressured to bring in larger audiences and greater financial support from individuals, foundations, and corporate sponsors in order to balance their operating budget.

It is fair to assume that exhibition proposals that do not fulfill the necessary criteria for corporate sponsorship risk not concsiousness considered, and we never hear about them. Some artists and promoters may reject any commitment and refuse to accept the notion that their work presents a point of view beyond itself or that it fosters certain attitudes; nevertheless, as soon as work enjoys larger exposure it inevitably participates in public discourse, advances particular systems of belief, and has reverberation in the social arena.

In an ever-advancing spiral the public was made to believe that only Hollywood-style extravaganzas were worth seeing and that only they could give an accurate sense of the world of art.

Hans Haacke | CCTP Topics in CCT

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.

Even if the art show condemns the companies themselves, their marketing still works, their work is still brought out consciousnesd the public eye. Traditionally, the boards of trustees of U.

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