Culture Clash | Integrity of the gallery

Integrity of the gallery


It is worth considering whether it is in the best interests of the gallery to concede to the visitor in the ways that we have looked at. The integrity of the gallery and the experiences that it offers are important considerations, as is the integrity and value of the idea of ‘art’ itself. For a gallery to move too far towards the uncomprehending visitor - for the gallery to stoop too low to make itself understood - might be to compromise the experiences that it offers. We are concerned with finding the line between catering to the highest and lowest denominators, and to find how far toward the latter this line can go whilst still resembling its original shape.

It can often seem as if there is a gulf between the gallery and its visitors; the gallery on one side offers experiences that it believes to be of value, whilst, on the other side, a large majority of visitors are unable to engage with these experiences. This inability to engage is down to some of the factors that we have touched upon: poor education, rigid mindsets (sticking to known paradigms), the negative influence of media and fear of the unknown.

Should it be the responsibility of the gallery to help the visitor overcome these factors, many of which are intrapersonal and potentially deeply buried? What concessions does the gallery currently offer to help with this?

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