The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s blog has a neat rubric called Collection Rotation wherein artfolk are invited to ‘install’ the museum’s collection via a blog post. The museum recently invited me to take a swing and today SFMOMA’s Open Space published my ‘installation.’
I won’t give you the whole spiel on what I tried to do, but here’s an introduction: Motivated by two ways in which SFMOMA has installed its permanent collection in the last few years and by a 2008 exhibition curated by SFMOMA’s Corey Keller, I tried to tell a specific art historical story:
… [SFMOMA's] collection-opening galleries seemed to promise that SFMOMA was the modern museum of the West, a counterpoint to the Eastern-plus-Europe-centric Museum of Modern Art, New York. For whatever reason, SFMOMA has never quite prioritized the West the way those two galleries have suggested it might have. It’s always been a museo-fantasy of mine that it would, or will, that SFMOMA would collect and present art of the modern era from a distinctly Western point of view, from a point of view that argues that the West has an art-historical story to tell and that the West need not merely mimic the East in its presentation of modern and contemporary art. If the West’s largest museum of modern and contemporary art doesn’t champion the West as a driver of art history the way MoMA champions New York, who will?
Given the opportunity to have a little fantastical fun with SFMOMA’s collection, I thought I’d show how SFMOMA could assert itself by asserting its Westernhood.
Check out my ‘installation’ and tell me what you’d add, etc.!