Asmaa Elmongi

Elmongi, Asmaa.jpg

Modern and Contemporary art museums provide the opportunity to understand the contemporary thoughts of every nation, which in turn could be related to historical and political issues. From this point, I would like to highlight particular parts of the speech of two professionals: Ade Darmawan (Director, Ruangrupa, Jakarta, Indonesia), and Donna De Salvo (Director and Senior Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA), during CIMAM 2017 Annual Conference, which took place in Singapore.

It is important to reduce the gap between what people think the role of art is, and the main purpose of art. According to the speech of Ade Darmawan, “The living-together art spaces are an affirmation that art can be situated, quite naturally, among the people.” Darmawan who has directed an art space that is represented in a residential home that becomes a studio for different art events, has opened the space to anyone of the neighborhood who want to teach, as a kind of a collaboration to make the public intervene with the place. In addition, the space is available to the public, a year before any event, so that it is like a brainstorming for anyone who wants to share the experience.

Availability of art spaces for the public is one of the main hubs for engaging the audience, especially in countries with economic crisis, or countries that experienced serious political cases. Whitney Museum has been one of these places that supported the American public throughout the last U.S elections, as what was mentioned by Donna De Salvo. “The museum was open to the public, while the other art spaces and museums were closed. We decided to offer spaces, where people could talk and discuss. It was so energetic”, De Salvo said.

In conclusion, expressing our society is of a considerable importance. It is a way of involving the public in the art scene. At the same time, we need to spread our thoughts globally. Consequently, there must be a gate to the other societies, through which we can deliver the message, and to assure that the other party will receive it correctly. This gate could be Modern and Contemporary Art museums, or could be museums of “diverse-art”.