Outside the Museum
Outside the Museum is a beautiful sky at dusk. Outside the Museum, there are signs of new construction and renovation. Outside the Museum the lines of the parking lot are nicely geometric and a tree obscures the tall apartment buildings, showing contrasting structures of Nature and Culture. I live near the big Art Museum in my city, but I don't go inside it very often.
Yes, I live Outside the Museum. As a person, as an artist, I live Outside the Museum on a number of levels/dimensions. I feel many emotions as I exist in Relation to the Museum: as an architectural structure/landmark that is a Greek temple replica, as a warehouse of culture, as an institutional arbiter of what is valuable about Art.
I have had my art Inside the Museum, once. I performed in the Art After 5 event on March 6, 2015 in the Great Stair Hall. I was part of Jamaaladeen Tacuma's evening including jazz music. I got to do an improvised solo. My name was not on any of the publicity and I don't have any evidence that this happened, but it did. This is one of the ways that I am Outside the Museum — I have a fraught relationship to documenting, framing, capturing, logging, measuring, categorizing the things that I do. These are things it seems an artist must do to have a resume, to have a career, to Get Inside the Museum in a historical, definable, way that would be provable in a court of law.
When I googled "institution," an icon appeared next to one definition that was a cartoon of a Greek temple. Symmetrical columns atop stairs, the triangular roof atop the columns, just like the Art Museum, or a Court House! Does this also signify Westernity? An image of Western culture: a house of law and order, a clear set of values; a place where dangerous, radical ideas may enter when they lose their bite.
I am interested in Caryatids. The female figures that stand in for columns. Holding the roof on their heads.