هدف از کنفرانس:
ارائة کلیتی از سرمنشأ موزهها و مشکلات ناشی از این سرچشمهها در طول زمان.
الف. سرچشمههای مدرن و باستانی
ب.موزه و تاریخ
پ. موزه و قدرت بازدیدکننده
ت. پل والری
- پیتاگوراس موزه را بهشتی توصیف میکند که «در آن فضلا در رابطه با کتابها و اشیاء تحقیق و بحث میکنند.»
- پتولمی، کتابخانة اسکندریه، مصر، ۲۸۰ قبل از میلاد.
- قفسههای جذابیت
- اتاق هنر رودلف دوم، قلعة پراگ، سال ۱۵۶۴-۶۶
- گالری اوفیتسی، دوک فرانسیس اول توسکانی، ۱۵۷۰
- موزة آشمولین، ۱۶۸۳
- قهوهخانة دون سالترو چلسی، ۱۶۹۵ (شامل اشیائی همچون بادبزن ملکة صبا، پیراهن رابینسون کروزه، کلاه خواهر خواهر خدمتکار زن پونتیوس پیلات)
- جرمی بنتام: معنی سراسربین (پنوپتیکون، از لفظ یونانیِ «پنوپتس» به معنای «دیدن همگان»، تاریخ: ۱۸۲۶: ارائة زاویه دید تمام و کمال یا پانوراما)
«ساختاری معمارانه است که در آن برج در مرکز ساختمانی حلقهای شکل قرار میگیرد که به سلولهایی تقسیم شده است. هر سلول تمام عرض حلقه را اشغال میکند و پنجرههایی در دو سو به سمت داخل و خارج دارد. ساکنان سلولها ضدنورند و به واسطة دیوار از یکدیگر جدا شدهاند و ناظری نادیدنی در برج مرکزی بر آنها به صورت گروهی و انفرادی نظارت و مراقبت میکند.»
متون معاصر جهت مطالعه:
دوگلاس کریمپ، برخرابههای موزه، انتشارات MIT، کمبریج، ماساچوست، ۱۹۹۳
تونی بِنِت، دربارة پیدایش موزه، روتلج، لندن، ۱۹۹۵
میشل فوکو، تولد کلینیک، روتلج، لندن، ۲۰۰۰
Valéry, Paul. “The Problem with Museums” , in Degas, Manet, Morisot, transl. by David Paul, Routledge and Paul Kegan, London, 1972
I’m not over-fond of museums. Many of them are admirable, none are delightful. Delight has little to do with the principles of classification, conservation, and public utility, clear and reasonable though these may be.
At the first step that I take toward things of beauty, a hand relieves me of my stick, and a notice forbids me to smoke.
Chilled at once by this act of authority and by the sense of constraint, I make my way into a room of sculpture where a cold confusion reigns. A dazzling bust appears between the legs of a bronze athlete. Between repose and vehemence, between silliness, smiles, constrictions, and the most precarious states of equilibrium, the total impression is something quite intolerable. I am lost in a turmoil of frozen beings, each of which demands, all in vain, the abolition of all the others—not to speak of the chaos of sizes without any common scale of measurement, the inexplicable mixture of dwarfs and giants, nor even of the foreshortening of evolution presented to us by such an assemblage of the complete and the unfinished, the mutilated and the restored, the djins and the gentlemen…
A soul resigned to torture, I make my way on to the paintings. A strangely organised disorder opens up before me in silence. I am smitten with a sacred horror. My pace grows reverent. My voice alters, to a pitch slightly higher than in church, to a tone rather less strong than that of every day. Presently I lose all sense of why I have intruded into this wax-floored solitude, savouring of temple and drawing room, of cemetery and school… Did I come for instruction, for my own beguilement or simply as a duty and out of convention? Or is it perhaps some exercise peculiar to itself, this stroll I am taking, weirdly beset with beauties, distracted at every moment by masterpieces to the right or left compelling me to walk like a drunk man between counters?
Dreariness, boredom, admiration, the fine weather I left outside, my pricks of conscience, and a dreadful sense of how many great artists there are, all walk along with me.
A fearful frankness begins to grown on me. I feel it is all so wearisome, so barbarous, so inhuman—and so devoid of purity. It is an absurdity to put together these independent but mutually exclusive marvels, which are most inimical to each other when they are most alike.
Only an irrational civilization, and one devoid of the taste of pleasure, could have devised such a domain of incoherence. This juxtaposition of dead visions has something insane about it, with each thing jealously competing for the glance that will give it life. They call from all directions for my undivided attention, maddening the live magnet, which draws the whole machine of the body toward what attracts it…
The ear could not tolerate the sound of ten orchestras at once. The mind can neither follow nor perform several distinct operations at once; simultaneous lines of reasoning are impossible to it. But the eye, within the angle of its sweep, and at one instantaneous glance, is compelled to take in a portrait and a seascape, a study of food, and a triumph, along with views of people in the most varying states and sizes; and it must also accept mutually incompatible colour harmonies and styles of painting, all in the same look.
Just as a collection of pictures constitutes an abuse of space that does violence to the eyesight, so a close juxtaposition of outstanding works offends the intelligence. The finer they are, the more exceptional as landmarks of human endeavour, the more distinct must they necessarily be. They are rarities whose creators wanted each one to be unique. That picture, people sometimes say, KILLS all the others around it…
I feel sure that Egypt, China, Greece, in their wisdom and refinement, never dreamed of this system of putting together works which simply destroy each other, never arranged units of incompatible pleasure by order of number, and according to abstract principles.
But our heritage is a crushing burden. Modern man, worn out as he is by the immensity of his technical resources, is also impoverished by the sheer excess of his riches. The process of donations and legacies, the connection between production and purchases—and that other source of increase depending on changes in fashion and taste and their reactions in favour of works fallen into neglect—all conspire, without ceasing, to accumulate a necessarily un-usable excess of capital.
The museum exerts a constant pull on everything that men can make. It is fed by the creator and the testator. All things end up on the wall or in a glass case. I cannot but think of the bank at a casino, which wins every time.
But our capacity to use these ever-increasing resources is far from growing with them. Our wealth is a burden and a bewilderment. The need to concentrate it all in one place intensifies the sad and stupefying result. However vast the palace, however suitable and well-arranged, we always feel a little lost, a little desolate in its galleries, all alone against so much art. The product of thousands of hours’ works consumed in painting and drawing by so many masters, each hour charged with years of research, experiment, concentration, genius, acts upon our sense and minds in a few minutes! We cannot stand up to it. So what do we do? We grow superficial.
Or else, we grow erudite. And erudition, in art, is a kind of dead end: throwing light on what is least refined, investigating the non-essentials. For direct feeling, it substitutes theories for the marvellous actuality an encyclopaedic memory; and the immense museum is further saddled with a limitless library. Aphrodite is transformed into a dossier.
I stagger out of this temple of the loftiest pleasures with a splitting head—an extreme fatigue, accompanied sometimes by an almost painful activity of mind. The glorious chaos of the museum follows me out and blends with the living activities of the street. My uneasiness, groping for its cause, senses—or invents—some inscrutable connection between the obsessive feeling of confusion and the troubled state of the arts in our time.
We live and move today in the same state of dizzying conglomeration that we inflict as a torture on the arts of the past.
Suddenly I glimpse a vague ray of light. An answer begins in the form itself, separating out from my feelings, insisting on expression. Painting and sculpture, says my Demon of Analysis are both foundlings. Their mother, Architecture, is dead. So long as she lived, she gave them their place, their function, and discipline. They had no freedom to stray. They had their exact allotted space and given light, their subjects and their relationship… While Architecture was alive, they knew their function…
Good-by, says my idea, this is as far as I go.
Notes for the Teleconference:
-Aim of the Lecture:
To give an overview of the origins of museums and the problems these origins have generated over the years.
(a) Ancient and Modern Origins
(b) Museum and History
(c) Museum and the Viewer’s Power
**(d) Paul Valéry
-Pythagoras defines museums as “a heaven in which scholars conduct research amid discourse, and with reference to books or to objects.”
-Ptolemy, Library of Alexandria, Egypt, 280 BC
-Cabinets of Curiosity:
-The Kunstkammer of Rudolph II, Prague Castle 1564–66
-The Uffizi Gallery, of Duke Francis 1st of Tuscany, 1570
-The Ashmolean Museum, 1683
-Don Saltero’s Chelsea Coffee House, 1695 (included objects such as: Queen of Sheba’s Fan, Robinson Crusoe’s shirt, Pontius Pilate’s Wife’ Chambermaid’s Sister’s Sister’s Hat).
-Isidore of Seville, Etymologies, 636
-Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 1669
-Chambers, Cyclopaedia, 1728
-Diderot, Encyclopédie, 1751-1772
-Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1768-1771
-Jeremy Bentham: Definition of the Panopticon (from the Greek: panoptès: “all-seeing”, date: 1826: being or presenting a comprehensive or panoramic view).
“It is an architectural figure which incorporates a tower central to an annular building that is divided into cells, each cell extending the entire thickness of the building to allow inner and outer windows. The occupants of the cells are thus backlit, isolated from one another by walls, and subject to scrutiny both collectively and individually by an observer in the tower who remains unseen.”
Douglas Crimp, On the Museum’s Ruins, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1993
Tony Bennett, The Birth of the Museum, Routledge, London, 1995