Male Art, Go Gather Dust

 

Pompidou Center, Paris

Pompidou Center, Paris

Having put works by male artists in storage, the Pompidou Centre in Paris is preparing to open a new exhibition, elles@centrepompidou, filling its permanent collection galleries with the tale of art since the twentieth century as seen exclusively through the eyes of female artists, The Los Angeles Times reports. The exhibiton’s organiser conceeds that taking this approach to the display of Europe’s largest collection of Modern and Contemporary Art is a risk: “Excluding men and showing only women is a revolutionary gesture of affirmative action. But the museum is avant-garde. It’s part of the Centre Pompidou culture to do things differently. And we like a lot of drama. This is going to be dramatic in a big way.”

Wow, I don’t even know what to think of this. It’s a pretty groundbreaking concept: Putting works by male artists in storage.

In storage.

Feminist shows are set up all the time. That part of it is nothing new. It’s the storage thing that gets me (although I can’t think of another  solution). To put something into storage is so deameaning. It screams “object, you are so useless to me right now that you don’t deserve even a daily glance.”

Maybe I’m just thrown by that powerful intro (in storage!), but this is saying to me “move over men! We women are not only exhibiting by ourselves, but we may not bring back your stuff at all.” It’s like the women can’t wait for the dust to move in, settle down, and grow thick. Real thick.

Sorry, I’m just really hung up on words. When journalists write, they pick words very, very carefully.

I’ve said it before, but wow. Critics can really move a concept and a reader’s impression. There’s no indication of how long the exhibit will show, but I’m sure the exhibitionists are in no rush to reinstitute normalcy.

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