It is unquestionable that much of today’s art is about art. Regardless of what the artists efforts might be, what they are expressing in their art is going to tell us something about the way they feel about other art. Brooklyn based artist Lan Tuazon is not just doing that, she is commenting on the way we are viewing art. In her latest effort at the Brooklyn Museum, she is trying to redefine the way we view things at today’s museums.
There are three parts to her involvement here. First she has studied the various exhibits in the museum and selected specific pieces based on themes and function. She then created 3 prints suggesting how the museum should be rearranged. She questions the norm in which works are always arranged based on country and time or origin rather than their formal similarities. In the piece Gatekeepers she takes iconic “gatekeepers” from every culture represented in the museum and shows how she would like to see them arranged. In addition to the prints, she has created some very interesting sculptures. She created three pieces inspired by other pieces in the Egyptian wing. And even more interesting, is she was able to have these pieces on display next to the original Egyptian that inspired them. And lastly, she takes different display cases used in the museum and makes a sculpture out of them. This is very similar to other works I have seen on her website (http://www.lantuazon.com/). Perhaps Tuazon is predicting that one day there will be a museum about museums, and in it we will look at how museums all over the world “display” their work.
I find it very fitting that Tuazon found a home here in the Brooklyn museum. Not just because she works in Brooklyn, but because I think the Brooklyn museum has already shown some non-traditional approaches to exhibiting their work. It is the first museum I have ever been to that had access to see the works that are not on display. Visitors can see everything they have in storage in their visible storage room. Works are not given lengthy descriptions, nor are they arranged spaced out or very thoughtfully. They are just given a number that visitors can plug in to look up on the museum’s computers.
And furthermore, why listen to my take on her recent work in the museum, check out this quick video of Tauzon herself talking about the project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPHB0Gdl6tw