The Museum as a depository and custodian of artwork, but also a place of observation and comparison. The spectator as an active interlocutor, who meets the work at the museum venue and enters into a dialogue with it. Thus, an ideal state ensues, in which the work prepares itself to be “interrogated” hermeneutically, proposing hypotheses of a path to different levels of interpretation.
Photography and the Museum form a strong combination. Thomas Struth dedicates a series of works to this theme, focusing the point of view of an estranged mass; Candida Hofer emphasises perfect architectures, detached from reality; Karen Knorr shows the Museum as the place of comparison between tradition and social reality.
According to Max Tomasinelli, the Museum is a reference point suggesting a dual purpose, synchronic within the works of art, diachronic within the history of art. However, the spectator often observes in a “distracted” manner, his attention is superficial, fragmentary. If the work cannot be read immediately, only the surface of the impression remains. The Museum, then, becomes the site of rapid consumption, the same as any object, and the work seems a fetish.
Inevitably the discussion moves to language and to the means of communication. Linearity, uniformity, horizontality, velocity characterise the language of the media, of advertising, of technology. Communication becomes standardised and flat; it holds no surprises, nor arouses curiosity. Just an empty, ghostly façade, which causes bewilderment. In the words of Jean Baudrillard, communication is now “reduced to appearance, an ingenious script that has bewitched the language inside a phantasmagoria”.