Claire Bishop: Radical Museology

or, What's Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art?

In the face of austerity cuts to public funding, a handful of museums of contemporary art have devised compelling alternatives to the mantra of ‘bigger is better and richer’.

In Radical Museology, art historian and critic, Claire Bishop presents the collection displays of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Museo Nacional de Reina Sofía in Madrid and MSUM in Ljubljana as outlines of a new understanding of the contemporary in contemporary art.

Rather than denoting presentism, the contemporary comes to signal a dialectical method: scouring the past for the origins of our present historical moment, which in turn is the determining motivation for our interest in the past. It is an anachronic action that seeks to reboot the future through the unexpected appearance of a relevant past.

Accompanying and complimenting Claire Bishop’s text are illustrations by artist Dan Perjovschi.

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