The Avant-Garde Museum

Curatorship
Agnieszka Pindera

Concept by
Ewa Borysiewicz
Daniel Muzyczuk
Agnieszka Pindera
Jarosław Suchan

Edited by
Ewa Borysiewicz
Martyn Kramek

Audio Guide

Script by

Ewa Borysiewicz, based on The Avant-Garde Museum reader

Copy-edited and Proof-read by
Soren Gauger

Read and Recorded by
Sean Palmer

Media credits
Front page video, exhibition spaces videos, and showcase panels animation
Brave Boy Studio

Exhibiton curators video
HaWa

Museums' basic info page animations
Fontarte

Platform
Designed by
Mengyi Qian

Developed by
Jules LaPlace

Produced by
Muzeum Sztuki, Łodź and e-flux

Project Management
Martyn Kramek
Hallie Ayres

The avant-garde wanted to demolish museums, believing they served to petrify and cultivate the past, which needed to be discarded in the name of a better tomorrow. But the avant-garde also dreamed of its own museums, places governed not by history, but by the future. They were imagined as laboratories where the artist would experiment with new forms and means of expression, and the viewer would learn to experience and understand reality in a new way. The museum became a vehicle for fulfilling the avant-garde utopia—the promise of a world where everyone has the right to and conditions for a creative life. 

The history of avant-garde museology begins after the October Revolution, when the Russian champions of new art proposed the establishment of a network of Museums of Artistic Culture. Not much later, a group of New-York-based modernists and Dadaists started the Société Anonyme, a collective that sought to establish the first American museum of modern art. The successive chapters of this story were written by the Russian Constructivist El Lissitzky, who designed the Kabinett der Abstrakten at the Hanover Provinzialmuseum, and by the avant-garde a.r. group, whose efforts began the International Collection of Modern Art at the Łódź museum now known as the Muzeum Sztuki. 

We mention these facts not only because they are an important, yet neglected part of the avant-garde legacy. First and foremost, we believe the ideas that informed the founders of avant-garde museums and the solutions they implemented still raise vital questions. What should the museum be like? What role should it play in society?

Category
Avant-Garde, Museums
Subject
Museology, History, Exhibition Histories
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