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In his article “Museums: Managers of Consciousness”, Haacke describes how museums are increasingly shifting their model of operation to. They are, if you want to put it in positive terms, great educational institutions. If you want to put it in negati ” – Hans Haacke quotes from Haacke H.’Museums, managers of consciousness’ B. Wallis (Ed.), Hans Haacke: unfinished business, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York and MIT.

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The gospel of art for art’s sake isolates art and postulates its self-sufficiency, as if art had or followed rules which are impervious to the social environment. But a democratic society demands nothing less than that. Supplanting the traditional bohemian image of the art world with that of a business operation could also negatively affect the marketability of its products and interfere with fundraising efforts.

Nor are we dealing with a universally accepted body of knowledge or beliefs. It is fair to assume that exhibition proposals that do not fulfill the necessary criteria for corporate sponsorship risk not being considered, and we never hear about them.

To compound the financial problems, many governments, facing huge deficits-often due to sizable expansion of military budgets-cut their support for social services as well as their arts funding. This is a janagers good survey of issues, problems, and questions.

Even today, in countries where artists are openly compelled to serve prescribed policies, it still has and emancipatory ring.

The adjustments that museums make in the selection and promotion of works for exhibition and in the way they present them create a climate that supports prevailing distribution of power and capital and persuades the populace that the status quo is the natural and best order of things. The survival of the institution and personal careers are often at stake.

Conversely, the taxpayers so affect do not shy away from deducting relevant business expenses. That artist bypassing museums and corporate art funding all together, they can take back their meaning and their power. As long as an institution is not squeamish about company involvement in press releases, posters, advertisements, and its exhibition catalogue, its grant proposal for such an extravaganza is likely to be examined with sympathy.

Whether museums contend with governments, power-trips of individuals, or the corporate steamroller, they are in the business of molding and channeling consciousness.

Museum managers have learned, of course, what kind of shows are likely to attract corporate funding. The success of their enterprises and the future of the artists in their stables obviously depend a great deal on their managerial skills. Those who hold the purse strings and have the authority over hiring and firing are, in effect, in charge of every element of the organization, haqcke they choose to use their powers. Responding to a realistic appraisal of their lot, even artists are now gaacke managerial training hanx workshops funded by public agencies in the United States Such sessions are usually well attended, as artists recognize that the managerial skills for running a small business could have a bearing on their own survival.


Haacke says art by nature is not an actual commodity, its meaning changes due to the amount of exposure it receives.

Managers of Consciousness

In other countries the outcome of elections can have consciouzness direct bearing on museum policies. Whether such neutralizing is performed with deliberation or merely out of habit or lack of resources is irrelevant: Luke Rittner, who as outgoing director of the British Association of Business Sponsorship of the Arts should know, recently explained: The newer models are more network and systems theoric, looking at complexity and distributed agency.

Has on a large scale towards the haxcke of the s in the United States and expanding rapidly ever since, corporate funding has spread during the last five years to Britain and the Continent. Irrespective of their own love for or indifference towards art, they recognized that a company’s association with art could yield benefits far out of proportion to a specific financial investment.

Museum leadership, once the sole realm of the curator, is now being divided into artistic directors and operations officers. Trained by prestigious business schools, they are convinced that art can and should be managed like the production and marketing of other goods.

Hans Haacke

As has been pointed out and not only by Marxists social scientists and psychologistsconsciousness is not a pure, independent, value-free entity, evolving according to internal, self-sufficient, and universal rules. I think they do so for good reason. Haacke says this is contradictory to the nature of art, and the meaning behind art. A theoretical prop for this worthy but untenable position is the nineteenth-century doctrine of art for art’s sake.

Traditionally, the boards of trustees of U. These can often provide a creative and cost-effective answer to a specific marketing objective, particularly where international, governmental or consumer relations may be a fundamental concern.

The Terminal Show was a brainchild of the city’s Public Development Corporation; it was meant to draw attention to the industrial potential of the former Brooklyn Army Terminal building. As honorable as such and endeavor is-and it is still a valid goal to strive for-it suffers from idealist delusions about the nonpartisan character of consciousness. In an ever-advancing spiral the public was made to believe that only Hollywood-style extravaganzas were worth seeing and that only they could give an accurate sense of the world of art.

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Ludwig may have risked his reputation as a connoisseur of art, but by buying into the Soviet consciousness industry he proved his taste for sweet deals. Haacke believes this could turn problematic for artists and the arts in general. Aside from the reasons already mention, the discomfort in applying industrial nomenclature to works of art may also have to do with the fact that these products are not entirely physical in nature.

You want to avoid the kind of theory that sets up thought policing and has reductive or deterministic procedures.

Their stance and what is crafted under its auspices have not only theoretical but also definite social implications. Most shows in large New York museums are now sponsored by corporations. The hesitancy to use industrial concepts and language can probably also be attributed to our lingering idealist tradition, which associates such work with the “spirit,” consfiousness term with religious overtones and one that indicates the avoidance of mundane considerations.

Museum museums felt they had no choice but to turn to corporations for a bail-out.

Museums: Managers of Consciousness

It is widely believed that the motive behind his buying a large chunk of government-sanctioned Soviet art and displaying it in “his” museums was to open the Soviet market for his chocolate company. It is not uncommon that messages are received in a consciousneas, distorted form; they may even relay the opposite of what was intended not to mention the kinds of creative confusion and muddle-headedness that can accompany the art work’s production.

It takes stealth, intelligence, determination-and some luck. We see a lot conscioueness noncommittal, sometimes cynical playing on naively perceived social forces, along with other forms of contemporary dandyism and updated versions of art for art’s sake.