Joy Shellard recounts growing up in the museum during WWII in a book entitled A Child of the Home Front. Anecdotes of her youth are set against the backdrop of not only war, but growing up in a museum.
It’s people like Davis that have started to inform my ethical position; not progress vs conservation, but ‘progress for conservation’, research that negotiates successfully between the two, or makes both equal stakeholders in its investment, outcomes and impact.
When it comes to knowledge transfer, presentation and engagement it’s the translators, facilitators and organisers of the world that can provide the final pieces of the puzzle.
The prominent culture of research output is text, it exclusively takes the form of journal articles, essays and books. This doesn’t create favourable conditions for contemporary society to see, understand, engage or contribute to it.
To formalise this idea, I distilled de Botton’s sentence into something visual, an artwork as a symbol. With the regal portrait prevalent in 17th century european art I decided to re-appropriate an etching of La Rochefoucauld, adding the blue bird (representing the Twitter logo) and the hand upon which it perches.
Imagine if overnight manufacturer’s outputs could only be found in written form in libraries and the knowledge economy took over all advertising and the high street. The thought of that illustrates how unbalanced those two economies are in their relationship with publics.
Edward Bernays (Lucian Freud’s nephew) quickly realised that “what could be done for a nation at war could be done for organizations and people in a nation at peace” …and duly opened a ‘public relations’ business in New York.
In an academic, art or curatorial context it’s more helpful to think of ‘accessibility’ as providing a re-framing, entry point or window to the original work so that the viewer stands a chance of understanding it in a short space of time.
Self-directed research is concerned with things that grab your attention and the investigation of those leads through a personal curiosity or compulsion.