“Art can’t be the exclusive domain of the elect. It has to belong to everyone. Otherwise it will continue to divide the privileged from the underpriviliged, Blacks for Chicanos, and both from rural, ghetto and middle class whites. Artists should work to the end of love, peace, justice and equal opportunity prevail all over the world; to the end that people will take joy in full participation in the rich material intellectual, and spiritual resources of this world’s lands, peoples, and goods.”
– Elizabeth Catlett
I recently visited San Francisco and the Museum of the African Diaspora. It is a brand new space and the similarity to every other exhibition space was depressing. The contrast between the Apollonian rigidity of contemporary museum spaces and the Dionysian flourishes of the treasures they store is jarring. I understand that exhibition spaces have to provide a blank canvas for artists work to speak from, but does it have to be so blank and sterile all of the time? There is so little space for the art to engage with it’s surroundings; for the environment to mingle with the exhibit and create a more encompassing experience.