Rant: Museum no-photo policies.

Self: camera oscura
Self: Camera Oscura. Photo by Jasmic.

There’s an interesting discussion about musum no-photo policies over at Art Fag City that’s worth checking out.

My two cents: Any museum that accepts even one cent of public money should allow photography (without a flash, of course). A museum is a public space—and if my taxes are gonna help pay for that space and its maintenance, I should be able to take a damn picture. And, no, there shouldn’t be any exclusion of pieces that are part of rotating exhibits. I don’t care if the works are privately owned. (If you want them to be that private, don’t loan them to a museum. Duh.) The fact is an artist—and more importantly, their dealer—benefits tremendously from having work included in a tax-payer-funded museum. That museum prestige rubs right off on them. And then they turn around and cash in on that at some privately-owned Chelsea gallery. My picture is not going to prevent them from making a buck. And if anything, it’s what I get in exchange for supporting, with my taxes and my attendance, these municipal show palaces.

Certainly, there’s other stuff going on here, too: It’s about highly-corporate institutions trying to tightly control how works are viewed. (But that’s the kind of abstract intellectualism that would require way more deep introspection than I’m currently capable of.) The short of it is that museums are public places purportedly designed to showcase important works to the public. They are spaces, in essence, that belong to all of us. And policies or no policies, I’m going to continue to take pictures. After all, it’s just art.

Posted by C-Monster.

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