Soledad Garcia Saavedra

Curator, Centro de Documentación Artes Visuales (CeDoc), Santiago de Chile, Chile

Interested on the approaches of Museum and its responsibility, I would like to highlight some ideas discussed in the Conference, which brought into question the negotiation between the social forces that affect the museum and the ways to think and to act its transformation.

Philosopher Marina Garcés posed crucial questions in her presentation The Force of Hunger regarding to the current conditions of cultural workers in institutions such as museums and academia. Cultural infrastructures stand in a spiral paradox between the workers’ forces that propel culture and the reliance on private, market and industry, which absorbed and promoted those forces becoming “free and volunteer servants in a neoliberal economy”. As a counter-position, Garcés referred to the dignity of having limits to servitude, to face with honesty the hypocrisy immersed in the world of culture. Responsibility therefore, appeared within those limits, as a process of transformation, in the communication of what moves us; what are the necessities and commitments of human bodies for art today.  In the words of Garcés, is “to share both noble virtues and despicable acts” in the instability and the interpellation of the dialogue. The essential act of dialogue, or the alternative forms to share different ideas and comments within museums’ structures, seems to me, were inspiringly present in the Conference in the artistic trength of artists’ presentations such as Sylvie Blocher and Marysia Lewandowska where acts and experiences of sharing allowed other forms of imagination, assembling self-organization and looking for ways of generosity. However, how these trength could penetrate in the long term, and not in a particular moment to make flexible –less rigid- the museum? Perhaps artist and writer Dave Beech, pointed out at the very end of his presentation Protesting the Museum some lights. Raising a question whether the museum could be an agent of social responsibility, Beech referred to a pragmatic alternative of change for the museum by taking part as a member of social change in its location and context, in contrast to the common representation of social conflicts in their walls.

Testing and critical models confronting museums funding, organizational, operational and ethical dilemmas by directors of big and small scale museums where absent in the conference. Probably, those were other forces of hunger that I need to listen.