Toujours. El Museo como Testigo / Toujours. The Museum as Testament
Toujours…Siempre…Always. Whether in French, in Spanish or in English, this simple word refers to the perpetuity. Always refers to something that will never end, that will remain forever. I like this idea. Is it not the purpose of a museum itself? Conserving, protecting and showing testimonies from different periods of time? Keeping records? This interesting problematic is the theme of the new exhibition showcased at the MARCO (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo).
One week ago, as a member of the MARCO, I had the privilege to be invited to the preview of this new exhibition: “Toujours. El Museo como testigo”. Why a French word in the exhibition’s title? Because all the works of art that compose the exhibition come from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux (CAPC) in France. And actually I am really happy about the idea that Monterrey opens so much its horizons and collaborate with European museums. I never considered myself as a patriot, however I can only feel a bit of pride!
It was the first time that I was going to a preview at the MARCO and if I had to say one simple word about it: nice! The evening was organized in three distinct times. First, an introduction about the exhibition in the form of dialogue between the curator of the exhibition and a responsible of the museum. I think that this particular time is always a key to understand what we are going to see, and I have to admit that Maria Inés Rodriguez (the curator) gave us precious information, really clear and really simple, with a contagious passion. Then, came the time to see the works of art. And finally we ended by a cocktail.
To be totally honest, I am not a fan of contemporary art. Contemporary Art still divides the public opinion and sparks wide debates. From an academic point of view, 3 disciplines were considered as real artistic fields: the painting, the sculpture and the architecture. But our society evolved and brought new problematic. Contemporary Art thus states that a simple object can be art if it brings a particular meaning, a particular reflection. Contemporary Art even states that life is art. Some think that it’s brilliant. Some others think that it’s bullshit. And finally, we always go back to the question: what is art?
From my point of view I am quite divided. I really do appreciate some contemporary artists such as Nan Goldin or Christian Boltanski for instance. But some pieces of art are just a huge joke for me so…But I see art in many different places and through many different fields: a textile, a ballet, a movie, a song, a piece of cloth, a picture…Is it art? And is it beautiful? What can be considered as art? What can be considered as beautiful?
“Toujours. El Museo como Testigo”, questions the purpose of the museum and the purpose of a work of art. Indeed, what is the destiny of a work of art? What is the mission of a museum? In this exhibition, the artists worked on this problematic and created original pieces of art, giving their own point of view. We don’t’ always understand. Contemporary Art is often enigmatic. And we don’t always like. But we ask questions to ourselves! We debate.
And then we enjoy a nice cup of wine, in a wonderful place, with the best company.
Here, an interview in Spanish of Maria Inés Rodriguez about the exhibition: http://www.marco.org.mx/index.pl?i=1287
NB: I unfortunately don't have pictures of the piece of art of Boltanski and regret it because this is according to me one of the most important contemporary artist. He especially worked a lot on the memory topic.