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  • Temporal Conflicts and the Purification of Hybrids: Tate, a case in point

Walsh, Victoria and Dewdney, Andrew, 2017, Journal Article, Temporal Conflicts and the Purification of Hybrids: Tate, a case in point Stedelijk Studies (Curating the Collection), 5 (5). ISSN 2405-7177 (In Press)

Abstract or Description:

In 2013, Chris Dercon noted of the Tate Tanks that underpin the new building that the museum of the 21st century should be understood as ‘a new kind of mass medium’ - defined by the durational practices of artists, interactive audience technology, social media, online broadcast, and archival practices. Such a description, whilst recognising the increasing convergence of art and media practices, failed to foresee even three years later the significant temporal paradoxes that are now emerging for the modern art museum from network culture which is everywhere busily questioning and inverting the foundational logic of the museum as a place of aggregation and object display.

As the new Tate Modern extension opens and discussions of the collection installations come to the fore, urgent questions are emerging of how curators are responding to the new temporal conditions of hypermodernity and chrono-reflexivity that digital networked culture is producing and artists are engaging with – as well as audiences. Marked by a distributed archival aesthetic, network culture is now directly challenging the museum’s practices of collection and display and laying bare the temporal paradoxes that concepts of ‘permanent’, ‘semi-permanent’ and ‘rotational’ inherently hold within the museum’s dependency on its temporal and canonical organisation of collection.

As the practices of programming and the emphasis on ‘event time’ proliferate in order to produce sustainable audiences - potentially superseding and negating the practices of collection - the museological and archival urge to freeze-frame and rematerialize the elusive, ephemeral and immaterial practices of the artist for collection can be understood as one more attempt to maintain the modernist aesthetic temporal order - through what Latour describes as the ‘purification of hybrids’. As the essay discusses, the destabalisation of the historical temporal certainties of the art museum, initiated by Tate through the demise of the chronological and periodic hang, and championed through commissioning and collaboration, is paradoxically rooted in the epistemological and market-driven fiction of the ‘contemporary,’ which, in the chronopolitical context of the migration of people, data, and objects, is diminishing in both validity and currency. What then is the future of collection and display at Tate Modern, and by implication other museums of modern art?

Official URL: http://www.stedelijkstudies.com/cfp-fall-2016/
Subjects: Other > RCA Additional Subjects > Curating
Other > RCA Additional Subjects > Galleries (display spaces)
Other > RCA Additional Subjects > Exhibition Design
School or Centre: School of Humanities
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2017 18:09
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 12:24
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2304

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