An Alternate View of the Museum, Yelp Style

October 2, 2013 | Kyle Chayka

Brian Droitcour is a writer, translator and curator who has has his writings published in Artforum as well as Rhizome, but since sometime last year he has been prolifically contributing to Yelp, writing countless reviews of art galleries and their subsequent exhibitions, check out the example below:

Commissioned by the New Museum’s First Look, “Fifteen Stars is a new website that features a unique selection of New Museum reviews as seen on Yelp, each paired with the works of artists such as Jeff Baij, Stephanie Davidson, Mike Francis, Mary Rachel Kostreva, Michael Manning, Douglas Schatz, and Andrej Ujhazy.

We live in a society that has a public sphere (or a husk of one) where the rules of discourse require that we single things out, cut experience into manageable and differentiated sections, take a single position and support it by arguing for it as the right position and not a perspective that coexists among other perspectives in a relation of equality, as one small part of truth. Because art criticism developed in tandem with this public sphere it can be—and often it is—an excision of the work from life (from the life of the artist, from the writer’s living encounter with it, etc.) or a reconstitution of art in a firmament of institutional discourse, be that a specialized history or an authoritative claim. (Btw this is related to how museums separate the artworks they show with empty white space.) But it doesn’t _have_ to be that way.

– Brian Droitcour

Oh, and be sure to check out his upcoming talk entitled “Vernacular Criticism” at the New Museum on October 12th.

(Image: Fifteen Stars/Jeff Baij)