Publicatie

A Spectator is an Artist Too

Hoe mensen naar kunst kijken

Kunstenaars creëren, maar wij – het publiek – maken het werk af. A Spectator is an Artist Too, een publicatie van Johan Idema, brengt in beeld hoe museumbezoekers anno 2020 kunst bekijken en beleven. Of we nu worden geïnspireerd, geraakt of uitgedaagd – onze reactie maakt deel uit van het kunstwerk.

A Spectator is an Artist Too is een inspirerend én prikkelend visueel essay over het publiek als co-creator van de kunstervaring. Het boek toont en becommentarieert hoe kunstmusea veranderen en publiek zich steeds vrijer en creatiever – of sommige zeggen onbenulliger – gedraagt in musea. Wie kunstwerken en hun toeschouwers in samenhang beschouwt, ontdekt bovendien nieuwe inzichten wat beiden bindt en wat publiek in musea zoekt. Het visueel essay is samengesteld op basis van een bijzondere selectie uit de duizenden foto’s die museumbezoekers wereldwijd de afgelopen jaren online publiceerden.

A Spectator is an Artist Too (BIS Publishers, september 2020) is het creatieve vervolg op de bestseller How to Visit an Art Museum (2014), die wereldwijd in tien talen is verschenen.

 

Tekst achterzijde:
‘The creative act is not performed by the artist alone,’ noted Marcel Duchamp in 1957. He claimed that we, as a spectator, contribute by interpreting a work. This makes that moment we are standing face-to-face with a painting, sculpture or other artwork crucial, if not magical. Whether we feel touched, inspired, dumbfounded, lost, irritated or even called to action – these responses are undeniably part of the artwork.

A Spectator is an Artist Too is a visual essay about the way humans behave around art: what happens when we are confronted with something immensely beautiful, challenging, or puzzling? Because something happens when we include the spectator in the picture. Observing artworks and their viewers together uncovers new, often unexpected, relationships between both. It lets us discover new perspectives on creativity and better understand how humans interact with art. ‘It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors’, as Oscar Wilde noted wisely.

This book also captures how art museums are changing, as they draw increasingly diverse audiences. The way museumgoers respond to art is becoming more casual, creative, and yes, also more ignorant or even banal. This momentum is increased by a whole new breed of Instagram-friendly ‘museums’ worldwide. Catering to the growing appetite for immersive art, these museums attract experience-hungry, selfie-loving millennials with exhibitions defined by their Instagrammability.

Is there anything more entertaining, inspiring, and instructive than observing art? Yes, it’s watching an audience interact with it. This book may forever change your approach to art, urging you to always consider both the work and the response. Because, ultimately, artists create, but we – the audience – complete the work.