This past week, Time Magazine announced its annual 100 most influential people of the year. Marina Abramovic was featured as one of the two only visual artists to make the list. There is no question of the impact she has had in the world of performance art and the art world itself. Endurance and authenticity or just two of the many things that makes her work memorable, but Marina has served as one of my biggest inspirations as an artist. Her willingness to use her body as a method to bring awareness and demonstrate ideas of human empathy has inspired me to use my own body in my photography.
Abramovic has opened the Marina Abramovic Institute, which serves as a platform for immaterial art and long durational works, including those of performance art, dance, theater, film, music, opera, science, nature, technology, and undiscovered forms that may develop in the future. When I think more about my feeling of the museum and how it seems that maybe the function of the museum must change to accommodate today’s time, I think about how this institute may work better. The institute allows for its viewers to have more of a leisure experience, yet still providing education on performance art and the possibility for the viewer to feel enlightened. By no means am I saying that there is no need for the museum, but maybe places similar in function to the Marina Abramovic Institute could lead more people into the art world. It sounds similar to the original function of the museum, but maybe a little more hip. Just a thought.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will be opening a new photography center in 2016. It’s predicted to be the largest photography exhibition space in all of the United States, featuring more than 15,500 square feet of space. As a graduating photography senior, this news is music to my ears. Unfortunately, the chances of me ever showing in a place of that caliber are slim to none. It is quit difficult to pursue a career in photography or any of the arts when you life in photo saturated culture. With the development of the camera phone and numerous websites that provide the general public a place to display their own “art,” it’s easy to loose hope in being a successful working artist.
Graduation is in three weeks, which has me thinking a lot about my future and the role of the museum in my own life. I’m not sure if my work will ever be in a museum, but it is nice to know that there are museums who understand the cultural significance of photography and are creating more space to show that to the general public. After really contemplating on who is my audience, I’ve come to the conclusion that I would like my work to exist outside of the museum/gallery setting. I like to think of my photography as something that really challenges people to question and investigate their own identity. I’m not sure that the museum is the best place to communicate my ideas to everyday people. I feel the museum does not provide everyone access to my work. I want people to be confronted with the message of my images. Maybe I’m just not giving the museum enough credit. Maybe the museum is the best place to reach the general public. I suspect that as time goes on, technology will advance and the way in which art exist and is experience will shift dramatically. The museum will change in its function to something more interactive and technology driven. We will just have to see how this will affect my future.