DOUGLAS CRIMP ‘ON THE MUSEUM’S RUINS’ 21082011

August 21, 2011

                                     


The content of the museums is described as spaces with historical fragments which collectively present an image of the world. According to its etymology, a museum is similar to a mausoleum, where objects are in the process of dying, whose relevance to the present is not as significant as their historic value.

Crimp further explains that the radical shift in the logic of what was conceived as art enabled to artists such as Rauschenberg to reproduce previous art work. The radical style, of the new with the old further indicated the cultural shift in art and the beginning of postmodernism.  As a result of technological advancement, cultural evolution and criticism radically transformed art as a discourse enabling further possibilities. Such are for example a larger discussion, understanding and appreciation of art itself by vast comparison with other pieces. This was enabled by the use of photography, dematerializing the art from its properties as an object and focusing on the moment of the artistic creation while celebrating the creator’s talent.

Art work was further unified and made globally accessible by its representation through the medium of the photograph, an artistic essence which provided a profound degree of knowledge. This additionally detached the art work from its historical background, composing a larger view of the evolution of art created by the human being in his most creative moment. Nothing conveys more vividly and compellingly the notion of a destiny shaping human ends than do the great styles, whose evolutions and transformations seem like long scars that Fate has left, in passing, on the face of the earth. (Crimp, 1985: p. 51)

The text describes a larger cultural evolution, where work from the past is reproduced and redefined in order to address issues of the present. In a similar fashion, ideas are always influenced by a source of inspiration, a pre-existing concept. It is a process of development in a rational manner, where the previous discovery enables the next discovery. The discovery of fire in a similar manner to the way photography was used for the development of art, illustrates this evolution. It has been used as a fundamental source of heat from generation to generation, constantly being used in a more sophisticated way, spanning the field of its application from cooking to welding to the discovery of extra-terrestrial territories.

 

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Douglas Crimp, ‘On the Museum’s Ruins’ in Hal Foster, ed.,Postmodern Culture, London: Pluto Press, 1985, pp. 43-56

 

 ANDREAS SIVITOS

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