There’s No ‘I’ In Museum

I think that museums bring out the worst in me; I really do. I tend to hate museums and I doubt that I’m as alone on this one as the pro-museum bias in the mainstream media would have me think.

Generally-speaking, a museum has to have it’s head stuck really far up it’s ass for me to like it. The Musée D’Orsay in Paris, or the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin for example are probably among my preferred locations to suck back the perfumed airs of genius. The nice thing about a real old-ass, stuffy musuem is that–besides the fact that the interiors themselves are worth examination (this being my only real issue with the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin) they usually sit on prime real estate. Thus if you’re not particularly taken with the art, you can get in some fantastic views of the city itself (I especially enjoyed this at the Louvre, which did, admittedly have some objects worth admiring on the inside).

Visiting the Hamburger Bahnhof today to see the Walton Ford exhibition I multi-tasked, and compiled a list of things that I hate about museums as they occurred to me, in situ.

1. REFLEXIVE MUSEUM STRAIN. I get a particular feeling when I walk into a museum. Against my will I absorb the vastness of the collection and exhibitions contained herein, and I begin to feel a pressure to see it all. Not only do I feel the need to see it all, I feel the need to spend quality time with those pieces that I find particularly striking. In the last few years I have implemented a strict regime for museum visits; I must preordain a focus. While this has helped, the tightness in the chest, the shortness of breath, and the stiff neck descend upon me still (to say nothing of my bitchy interior monologue).

2. PEOPLE WHO BRING THEIR BABIES/ TODDLERS WITH THEM. Screw off–the kid doesn’t get it anyway.

3. GROUP LEADERS WHO STAND IN-FRONT-OF/ BLOCK-THE-VIEW-OF A SINGLE WORK FOR AGES. While you’re disseminating your legendary wisdom, my life is frittering away. You, too, would do well to screw off.

4. THE LADIES-WHO-LUNCH SET. Especially when they’re part of a group tour.

5. HIPSTERS-IN-LOVE. You know who you are; you’re in the coat-check line, or in front of some work I want to see–but you may as well be in the bedroom. You’ve only resurfaced in public so that you can confidently assert that you haven’t subsumed your identities entirely in that of your significant other, and you think a Daniel Richter painting is best appreciated when paired with a handful of ass.

6. PEOPLE WITH BIG HONKIN’ CAMERAS TAKING PHOTOS OF THE WORK. What are you gonna do? Frame it and put it on your bedside table? Pffsssht! Get outta my way….

7. MIDDLE-AGED MEN WHO CUT IN FRONT OF ME IN LINE. Raised in a barn, you probaby lost all concept of the value of young women when they stopped wanting to screw you.

Do you see? Do you understand now?? The miser–the beast that I become when exposed to a museum. They poison my insides!

But then maybe I’m just rejecting the institution before it can reject me?
….mmm, still hate ’em.

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3 Comments on “There’s No ‘I’ In Museum”

  1. salty wisdom Says:

    ALSO: The Walton Ford exhibition was great and totally worth seeing; cross my heart….

  2. Contributing Factor Says:

    Well, *I* like museums.

  3. salty wisdom Says:

    Well *U* just collapsed the universe then, didn’cha?


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