The visit to LACMA museum made it apparent that art has many characteristics, one of them being an irreplaceable social role in our lives. While many consider art to be only a form of entertainment, it is apparent that our social values are reflected through art in a much more comprehensive way then through any other form. According to Mao (as cited by Skybreak, 2001) Although man’s social life is the only source of literature and art and is incomparably livelier and richer in content, the people are not satisfied with life alone and demand literature and art as well.
Why? Because, while both are beautiful, life as reflected in works of literature and art can and ought to be on a higher plane, more intense, more concentrated, more typical, nearer the ideal, and therefore more universal than actual everyday life. Through the above statement, it becomes apparent that Art has a very special relationship with life. This is mainly due to the strong connection between art and religion, which is especially visible in the western hemisphere.
Rockmore (2008) states that “the natural tendency to turn to art to tell us about the world and ourselves, but also to help us cope in a wide variety of circumstances, suggests that the artist still plays an important, arguably undiminished social role at a time when the link between art and religion has been decisively weakened. ” The social role of art as described by Rockmore in the above statement is very apparent in exhibits at the LACMA Museum. Museum and its Social Role LACMA museum brings to light some relationships and discrepancies between ideas of art, design and other forms of cultural production.
Some of the most impressive works displayed at the museum are from German expressionist artists affiliated with the artist group The Bridge. Most of the work that they produced was abstract, based on African and Oceanic sculptures. Nevertheless, these artists managed to create significant works that present their account of life. The visit to the museum makes it clear that museums continue to have a very important social role in our society. Museums sere as sites of historical comparison that enable us to look at old and new works of art and find the reflection of the same in real life.
Groys (2009) states following about museums social role in today’s society: Today’s museums are in fact machines designed not merely to collect, but also to generate the present through their comparison between old and new, between identical and different. There is no basis to the notion that the process of creating art occurs first in the media before it is subsequently represented in the museum. Instead, we only recognize something as being up-to-date, truly contemporary and thus ‘real’ art once we realize that this art has yet to be collected by or represented in the museum.
Rather than reality coming first, with its museum representation following on in second place, it is the museum collection that tells us what in the here and now may be considered real. In other words, the museum of contemporary art is ultimately a producer of contemporary art by the way it establishes what has not yet been collected and thus what, by implication, must be contemporary. Museum’s relation to Cultural Change Museums are generators of cultural change because they attempt to address current social and cultural problems through a process of dilemma labeling.
These labels explain the nature of the objects, how they were acquired, and why they are controversial today. Labels can openly point to outdated displays that reflect past racist, sexist, and colonialist attitudes on the part of the museum. Dilemma Labels provide an effective way to demonstrate differences as well as similarities between cultures and thus bring them closer. The museum we visited does that exceptionally well due to the availability of works from various authors from all over the world.
Most of the works presented, such as the paintings by Beckmann, present the authors point of view of life during a time when information was not readily accessible to us. This is extremely helpful when it comes to museums affects on culture because it shows the human side of the unknown as well as its exotic side. For example, some of his works have been created during World War 1. During that time, our public developed a stereo-typical opinion about the “other side” yet, these paintings show emotion and same kind of troubles that “our side” had to go through, thus humanizing the conflict and exposing the suffering on all sides.
When art is utilized in such ways, it has a power to bridge cultures and bring them closer, and museum help with that through exhibits. Conclusion Museums, as educational and social institutions, are undergoing very extensive changes. Greenhill (2001) states that “The museum is being reviewed, reassessed, and reformulated to enable it to be more sensitive to competing narratives and to local circumstances; to be more useful to diverse groups; to fit current times more closely. The heritage is both an actor and an instrument of dialogue between nations and of a common international vision aimed at cultural development.
This fact was obvious during our visit as the museum displayed wide variety of art from all over the world. According to Unesco. org, the museum is one of the most important institutions because It helps in the preparation of a global ethic based on practice for the conservation, protection and diffusion of cultural heritage values. Finally, a museum works for the endogenous development of social communities whose testimonies it conserves while lending a voice to their cultural aspirations.
Resolutely turned towards its public, community museums are attentive to social and cultural change and help us to present our identity and diversity in an ever-changing world. Bibliography Greenhill-Hoper, E. (2001) Training for Cultural Change in Museums. Paper retrieved on 08/04/2009 from http://www. hlf. org. uk/NR/rdonlyres/586C64BD-39E5-4E4F-B055-97566EDA8751/0/needs_training. pdf Groys, B (2009) The museum in theAge of Mass media. Paper retrieved on 08/04/2009 from http://www. cimam. org/arxius/recursos/Berlin_paper_Groys. pdf Rockmore, Tom (2009) Art, Truth, and Social Responsibility.
Paper retrieved on 08/04/2009 from http://www. sanart. org. tr/artengaged/ArtEngagement_TomRockmore_Abstract. pdf Koolhouse, R & Jones L. (2009) Museums and Cultural Change. Article retrieved on 08/04/2009 from http://edu. warhol. org/ulp_ctm_col_mcc. html Skybreak, A. (2001) Art and Human History. Paper retrieved on 08/04/2009 from http://revcom. us/a/v23/1110-19/1114/skybreak_art. htm United Natons Educational, Scientific, and Educational Organization. (2009) Museums. Aricle retrieved on 08/04/2009 from http://portal. unesco. org/culture/en/ev. php-URL_ID=35032&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201. html
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