Conscientious' cutting-room floor blog
"Now everyone’s a photographer,” he said. “It’s part of the language of what we do. All you have to do is walk down the street. And with Facebook or Tumblr there are infinite possibilities. But museums should be devoted to the original thing. That will continue to give the public a reason to see what’s here."
What is the “original thing” though? There should be no reason to suppose that the museum as an institution guarantees authenticity - by which of course I mean the authenticity of the medium itself, as opposed to the provenance of a specific work. There is also no reason to suppose that emerging or contemporary uses of photography (in the case of Facebook, for example) are somehow inauthentic. While more exhibitions and greater recognition are to be welcomed, any attempt to create a set of normative practices for the understanding of photography-as-art seems like a definite step backwards.
JMC: Darren’s point is spot on. In this article, the museums are trying to have it both ways: Pretend they’re interested in the fact that there’s so much photography out there, yet essentially continue their very narrow games, with possibly the occasional nod towards the fact that photography has expanded in such massive ways that museums really only cover a tiny and increasingly irrelevant fraction of it.