A museum has basically always been composed of an archival collection on the one hand and a gallery on the other, that is, an open, accessible area and a closed, interior area. This arrangement has a history translating in oblique ways inclusionary and exclusionary power struggles, which both frame the museum itself and open it to outside forces. Art has to engage with this structural tension between gallery and archive in one way or another; for a long time, the artwork has thus been conceived either as a mimesis of an essential life outside the museum or an outburst of free spontaneity emanating from the artist’s interior life into the gallery space. Either alternative nowadays no longer seems to work for a variety of (mainly technical) reasons. In their stead, what are the chances of producing art that would situate itself neither on one side of the barrier nor on the other? What strategies would be appropriate for its passage toward an open space that is located neither outside nor inside the archival framework?

Dr. Björn Quiring