Friday, February 4, 2011

What separates an everyday object from an art object?

The Boston Globe has an interesting story on an artist that "deaccessions" her personal (and emotion-filled) objects as part of an artwork. Call the anti-deaccessioning police!

Take an installation like “Deaccession Project,’’ the vast wall of more than 2,000 inkjet prints copied from photographs Welty keeps in scrapbooks. The photographs show items that Welty has discarded — one per day, systematically, since Oct. 5, 2005 — with a brief note at the bottom of each explaining the decision, and the item’s intended destination (“Trash,’’ for instance; or “Goodwill’’).

“Deaccessioning’’ is the museum term for the removal of objects from a permanent collection, so the title might trigger the kinds of questions raised elsewhere in Welty’s work: What separates an everyday object from an art object? Are our homes like museums? What do we hoard; what do we no longer have uses for; why?

I really like this. "What separates an everyday object from an art object?" This is the crux of my argument pro deaccessioning. If we get rid of the aura (Benjamin and all), then we get rid of this romantic notion of the museum, art, and the "public trust." One day.


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