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The pandemic was close to the rooms, insulated the museologists, put an end to the loans.
The Duty continues its series on the forced mutations of the cultural sectors affected by the pandemic. After the arts of the stage and the screens, we turn to the museums, which reopened in redefine themselves around their own collections in a world that is less favorable to international trade.
The work is titled, Nightlife, and his presentation of day soon turned into a nightmare awake. The Museum of contemporary art of Montreal (MACM) has begun on march 5, the projection of the 3D film of French artist Cyprien Gaillard now part of its permanent collection, with new projectors and virtual reality goggles rechargeable. The safety instructions forcing the disinfection, strict equipment have been due to the presentation after only a few days. Returned to the ides, the museum closed, as Montreal, Quebec, country, the planet. Farewell audience, nothing will.
“Thou liest in a world and you wake up in another, summarizes John Zeppetelli, director of the MACM. We will not go back Nightlife to the reopening [on June 24]. There is too much anxiety to share the material placed near the eyes. “
The exhibition Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and the modern mexican, as it is, brings that good old tables, drawings or photos. The inauguration of the 13th of February at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) has generated a nice surge in attendance to 2000 daily visitors, as is the rule of this kind of machine to popular success (blockbuster) confirmed at the quarantine from previous submissions in as many cities. This guaranteed success and stopped net a month later, due to the containment.
The reopening of the pavillon Lassonde scheduled for June 29, will extend the presentation of the expo Khalo until 7 September, with a maximum of 50 visitors at once. The museum of Portland, that was to host this summer, waiting for its new tower in 2021. Not a question of moving funds and personnel in the new conditions of health and of transport.
The Musée des beaux-arts du Canada (MBAC) has also stopped net exchanges. “The first instincts are the instincts of survival,” said Isabelle Corriveau, director of exhibitions and the influence of the NGC. We have quickly taken measures to ensure the maintenance of conditions of museological conservation, security and insurance of the works. We have also reassured lenders and we learned from the borrowers of our own works. “
The NGC will extend presentations of some of the work, and the expo dedicated to the canadian artist Moyra Davey planned for this summer will wait until fall. “We’ve been lucky : the majority of the works by Moyra Davey were already at the museum when the pandemic is declared “, says the director Isabelle Corriveau.
End of large exposures ?
These examples of distress are repeated as many times as there are institutions, big and small, on the planet museum. The pandemic was close to the rooms, insulated the museologists, put an end to the loans. This global world now needs to rethink more or less fundamentally, to revise its manner of receiving of the works and the public.
“We have huge rooms and the distance will not pose too many problems “, said the director, John Zeppetelli. Nevertheless, the MACM does not welcome over 75 visitors at a time for a marked trail to one-way after the Saint-Jean, whereas in the pre-world COVID the establishment could contain about a thousand at a time.
The NGC has obtained permission to re-open beginning Friday, June 12. Nothing has yet been decided by two working groups that focus on the safety and security of employees and works, the other on safety and the route of the visitors. “It should be attractive spaces , summarizes Isabelle Corriveau, the director. Our design team is actively investigating how to ensure respect for the distance. We are going to create entries very generous between rooms and facilitate the movement of persons in avoiding bottlenecks. “
It must, therefore, also of the expos attractive, but not too much. “The blockbusters that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s are related to the phenomenon of globalization, the possibility of simplified to do business with collectors and lenders everywhere,” says the director of the MNBAQ, Jean-Luc Murray. I compare it to a touring rock international. We now see the effects of the judgment of world trade in the short term on these presentations. “
Its museum still maintains the presentation of October to January of the landscapes of William Turner from the Tate in London. “We’ll see after 2021 there will be really a long-term impact on this kind of products, said the director. For the moment, it is difficult to say, but you don’t feel collapse. “
The templates and the number of exhibitions will change may-be, rental costs, transport and insurance (for private museums) reducing the appetite of museologists for massive borrowing. “The transportation sector works is very unstable and will remain so in the coming months and the coming years,” summarizes Ms. Corriveau, while providing “an exception to the rule” : Rembrandt in Amsterdam, co-produced with the Städel Museum in Frankfurt. The works of this work (say the old) will come from the netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United States. The opening in Frankfurt is maintained for December, and then in Ottawa in may 2021.
Normally, in the world before, the masterpieces of the Dutch master would have attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. Its closing at the end of February, the expo dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci drew 1 071 840 people.
The blockbusters emerged in the 1970s and 1980s are related to the phenomenon of globalisation […] I compare it to a touring rock international. We now see the effects of the judgment of world trade in the short term on these presentations.
— Jean-Luc Murray
Should we now say goodbye to these volumes ? “It is necessary to demand other measures of quality that traffic,” says the director Jean-Luc Murray. It is difficult to attract 500,000 visitors per year. The good news with the pandemic is that it goes down every two or three stair steps. It will be easier to take a risk and accept an annual attendance figure of 250 000 people. “
The crisis also has consequences on the movement of national exhibitions. The expo Leonard Cohen : a breach in any thing, / A Crack in Everything, that has drained 315 000 visitors in five months at the MUSEUM, was in Copenhagen this winter after a stop in New York city. She remained in the rooms in denmark. It takes 40 boxes for the move and the director did not see how it can be moved to another facility.
“We are not in the culture of the blockbuster to the MAC,” said the director. This is fantastic for the box office as for the radiation when exposure works very well, but, this time, people in museums think instead of creative ways of telling good stories, with their collections. This is where we are going. “
The return to the collections
The reverse of this logic of debt is fold of the museums themselves. The MUSEUM was already engaged in this movement of return to the collections. Its expo summer a group of quebec artists entitled The machine that was teaching tunes to birds, long-planned, will wait for October. As expected, the acquisitions for the permanent collection will support only national artists. The director hopes that the $ 300,000 of its budget to the purchase will double in the course of the year thanks to a campaign launched by the foundation in its establishment.
That said, he does not wish to make retirement local a new word order in his universe open. “It is very important to maintain the dialogue with the museums around the world and bring the artists here and their counterparts elsewhere,” says Zeppetelli. The circumstances forced us to retreat, but there is a small side dangerous to lock us within our own borders. “
The director of the collections of the Museum of fine arts of Canada does not see what is being prepared as an alteration to or a stopgap. “We had already planned that, over the next few years, our programming would value content that is predominantly canadian. The crisis reinforces this shift, ” said Mrs. Corriveau. The NGC is preparing a major retrospective of the collective canadian General Idea, a pioneer of conceptual art and media. The programming keeps to 2021.
The first vocation of the MNBAQ, of course, is identity. “I have the impression that a rebalancing post-COVID could enable museums to work more of their collections, including integrating components of national international bonds “, said the director Jean-Luc Murray, giving the example of the expo Miró, Mallorca (2018), at which its establishment would have been able to integrate the works of Pellan. “You can look at the collections with a vision of a protean. Museums have worked hard in the historiography. We can now go there with the emotions, approaches that are more sensitive or thematic. “
The MNBAQ is preparing a work on this model in coming out of works on the theme of the night, real or metaphorical. “We can think of a pandemic as a night in our lives,” says the director. We probably wouldn’t have gone in this direction if we had not had the big break of the pandemic. “
Mr. Murray also believes that the large break planetary allows museums to reposition themselves as places soothing. “We would like to take and give time. We hope that the visitors stop in front of a work and the queries. We even have the idea to reorganize a lodge in this spirit. We suffer, we doubt, we are sad and we are grieving to do in this moment. But once past this stage, maybe in a few years, when we have done all we want to do, we will say that, ultimately, it was well that it happens. “
Something this nightmare awake is so good ? “The crisis has forced each of us and the institutions to make a time stop, a break, a reflection, concludes to turn Isabelle Corriveau. There are a lot of positive in this crisis. The NGC will focus actively on the experience of the visitor and programmed on an engaged, attentive to the communities that we serve. “