The Contemporary Museum is a space in Lebanon where contemporary artists, regional local or international artists, exhibit their work. My bachelor thesis researched the issue of the art of today, and the social and political system behind it.
The utility of art has changed over the years, from true inner creativity to more freely expressed human personal experiences and today’s commercial exploitation of art. So who’s behind all of this? Who rules this art world today? What are the education and economy behind it?
Today, we, as an audience, enter those famous contemporary museums, amazed by their grandeur and tend to believe that everything displayed inside those tall, huge, white concrete walls is art. Well is it actually art? We are constrained by the conception or misconception of what we believe art is. We are limited by what we see and experience in life. All of this is directly related to this big word that all of us are bound to and believe in it so deeply which is called “Credibility”. There are thousands and thousands of artists out there with amazing talent who dedicate all of their time for their work, put all their passion and expression into it. However, are we seeing their work as well? Are their voices being heard? Curators are only interested in what sells, and by taking that artist who can provide them with that, they give him credibility. So what about the other artists out there? Don’t they deserve a chance?
My senior project was mainly based on this issue. As a result, I decided to create this whole big image about a local artist who is not renowned or famous, and make him famous by faking all the information about him to see how people will react to it. Would they think that he’s actually the big deal just because his whole work is being advertised by a museum?
The artist that I chose to work with is my grandfather named Jiraïr Hadidian. His work has never been exhibited in a museum or gallery, and I think he deserves a chance. This resulted in creating a whole museum identity with all its’ applications, from exhibition posters, to the museum map and way finding, to a website, to flyers, to museum merchandise and so on.
The audience was guided from the beginning tending to believe the identity of this artist and at the end they were faced with the truth, the real image of this artist who is actually not famous. The aim for them was to re-question everything they know concerning the addressed topic and everything that happens behind the museum culture. The key message behind this project is to show that unrenowned artists out there with amazing talent stand a chance for their work to be exhibited. It is not the museum that gives credibility, it’s us.