Wiggers Delivers Keynote at Zimmerhof
Director and Chief Curator Namita Gupta Wiggers delivers the keynote address at the Schmucksymposium Zimmerhof Thursday, June 7. In her talk, titled “Treasure House and /or Pleasure House: Democratizing Experience in Museums,” she will discuss how museums today, particularly in the United States, are expected to fabricate experiences. Generally speaking, however, art museums tend to employ display strategies drawn from the “white cube,” retail environments, or those used for anthropological artifacts.
For the exhibition Touching Warms the Art, artists responded to the Museum’s challenge to create deliberately non-precious and durable works, each of which was available for visitors to: handle freely, view themselves in mirrors, capture a photograph for an online Flickr site, and use as inspiration for making work of their own at an Art Bar. While centralizing the experience of wearing contemporary art jewelry occupied institutional focus at the time, re-examination now reveals additional complexities with regards to jewelry, museums, artists and audience.
For Zimmerhof, Wiggers extends a previously published paper, available on the Art Jewelry Forum Blog, to consider the project from the perspective of the other participants: artist, curator, collector, and institution. How does the project critique preciousness, operate at a level of spectacle, and delineate the limits of dialogue as objects move between private and public spheres?