As museums shut worldwide in 2020 because of the novel coronavirus, New York-based cultural strategist András Szántó conducted a series of interviews with an international group of museum leaders. In a moment when economic, political, and cultural shifts are signaling the start of a new era, the directors speak candidly about the historical limitations and untapped potential of art museums.
Each of the twenty-eight dialogues in this book explores a particular topic of relevance to art institutions today, and tomorrow. What emerges from the series of in-depth conversations is a composite portrait of a generation of museum leaders working to make institutions more open, democratic, inclusive, experimental and experiential, technologically savvy, culturally polyphonic, attuned to the needs of their visitors and communities, and concerned with addressing the defining issues of the societies around them. The dialogues offer glimpses of how museums around the globe are undergoing an accelerated phase of reappraisal and reinvention.
"As one reads though the dialogues, a distinctive and more or less unifying philosophy emerges about what an art museum is and what it should aspire to be... If the late twentieth century ushered in a liberating pluralism in art and cultural expression, it can only be hoped that the twenty-first century will do the same for the institutions of art. This sense of open possibility would be the ultimate guarantor of the enduring strength and relevance of the museum form."
CONVERSATION PARTNERS: Marion Ackermann, Cecilia Alemani, Anton Belov, Meriem Berrada, Daniel Birnbaium, Tom Campbell, Tania Cohen, Rhana Devenport, Maria Mercedes Gonzales, Max Hollein, Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Mami Kataoka, Brian Kennedy, Koyo Kouoh, Sonia Lawson, Adam Levine, Victoria Noorthoorn, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Anne Pasternak, Adriano Pedrosa, Suhanya Raffel, Axel Ruger, Katrina Sedwick, Franklin Sirmans, Eugene Tan, Phil Tinari, Marc-Olivier Wahler, Marie-Cecile Zinsou.
Published by Hatje Cantz
190 x 120 mm