Exhibition Inquisition

The stuff you look at, but don't see.

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Collecting History: Highlighting Recent Acquisitions

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Museum of Contemporary Art

The wording of the title of the show “Collecting History” creates a convenient ambiguity.  Is MOCA presenting the history of its collecting?—probably not, since these are recent acquisitions, and therefore this is not a show displaying its history. More likely MOCA is claiming with this title that through these acquisitions MOCA is collecting (verb) history.

The introductory wall text is the only “educational” anything in the exhibition.  It has a nice tie-in to MOCA’s previous exhibitions, saying the museum acquired works from these amazing shows.  Some of these shows were critically well received, but these expensive shows were also one of the causes of MOCA’s financial problems.  The intro wall text provides catch-all terms such as “significant works,” “historical, mid-career, and emerging artists,” and also “local, national, and international artists.” So basically anything goes.

Titular Image: Öyvind Fahlström, Africa Banner

Titular Image: Öyvind Fahlström, Africa Banner

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