Head of Painting Collection, Cultural Institute of Bonyad Museum, Tehran, Iran
First of all, I would like to thank of Getty Foundation and CIMAM board for this great opportunity and possibility of my participation in CIMAM conference 2016. This conference, with the theme The Museum and Its Responsibilities for me, as a first time participant from Iran, a country with special situation, since these recent years, was very unique and useful opportunity to share experiences and knowledge among others, new friends and future colleagues. Through speeches and presentations, I found the theme as a challenging subject which its answers can be quite unique regard to the period of time or in different conditions and geography. We live in a fast changing world and we need to adapt our museum’s responsibilities with the priorities and benefits of the realities of today, however, it is obvious that these realities which surrounding us, are not pleasant most of the time. As Marina Garcés, the first keynote speaker, drawn today museums condition with her philosophical views, truthfully, We must take a leap and return to the roots… Also regard to her quote of Artaud – We need a culture that has the force of hunger – she planned a challenging question what do we hunger today? This question made me think about the condition in my own country. Situation we have faced since last decade. Do we still hunger for culture? How we, as cultural institutions, as art collections or museums in general with very different conditions, can find this hunger and feed that with our plans and programs, for the benefit of our communities?
Meanwhile, I realized Calin Dan’s donkey’s dilemma, as a similar case compare to Iranian museums. Dilemma about what they need to do, what they adore or prefer to do and what they force to do. After all unique programs, speeches, perspectives, visits and artistic talks in this conference, I realized we, as museums experts have very common and eternal responsibility which is to increase thinking, to make people think about museums. As Descartes said: I think therefore I am. This way always helped and will help us to spread life in our museums and communities.