Since the Museum of Care was my major project for the last six months, but even more, it was the place of refuge in my rather difficult psychological situation I want to thank everyone who helped me get through these times. Every week for the last months, I have had an amazing group of friends to talk to, read with, invent new projects, and continue to project that David and I had started together. The main project of David and mine is of course, is the Museum of Care itself.
Thank you, Clive and Jack, for helping to rebuild the website and make it usable. Thank you, Clare, for facilitating most of the Assemblies and writing agendas and notes for the months. This was enormous work! Thank you all who help me to edit my wobbly English. Thank you, Simona, who stepped in to help. Thank you Matt, Yash, Gabi, TJ, Rob, Michael, Vassily, TJ, Oihane, John, Charlie, Sevda, Anca, and JJ, for your care and brilliance.
Thank you, everyone, who I just was not able to mention here.
On May 27 – we will meet to define the rules of the new model of operating a Museum of Care that would be taken care of with the series of “guest curators.”
We will need to decide on:
– how to transfer the Museum from one curatorial team to another. What would be the procedure?
– How to select curatorial teams: maybe by lottery? By consensus? by vote? by the discussion on the mailing list? by loomio?
– what can and can’t curators of the Museum do?
The experience of the last months of carrying out the reading group and creating projects shows that the Museum of care openness allows us to find a way to avoid conflict or an uncomfortable situation.
If you quarrel: make another room in the Museum, call it the “Fighting room” and be yourself!
So personally, I’m not too worried about how to choose curators. Assuming some crazy ghoul curators come “to power,” I realize it’s only for a month or two, so in the worst-case scenario, one can just wait and then come back.
It seems to me that in the name of openness, it is worth the risk of failure.
One last thing, speaking of failures.
Russia is an imperial country with a long tyrannical tradition. Yet, the great Russian literature from Dostoevsky to Gogol, from Tolstoy to Chekhov, from Mayakovsky to Kharms is all about small people, about underdogs, and the great world existed outside of power, canon and establishment. About the place of freedom and inclusion, that cannot be held by the gatekeepers.
I would say David has written and rewriting the same book during his life — about undergods who didn’t fit in, who are marginalized, who stumbled, who didn’t fit into the system, who didn’t follow the rules.
Both the Museum of Care and the Visual Assembly were conceived as safe spaces for these people.
They do not have a passing grade, admissions committees or gatekeepers. The Museum of Care is a space to make mistakes, be uneducated, not connected, not established and even not productive.
Everyone who wants to try to start any project has a chance to get help. The worst thing that can happen to let’s say, a very boring project is that the people would abandon it.
But that happens a lot with respectable museum collections, too: empty rooms, dusty art objects.
We know from historical experience that as soon as any uncensored space appears where people can talk, write, do things they are really interested in, there is an immediate creative explosion because it is inherent in us humans to invent and create.
So, I would not worry about it, until the Museum of Care will be able to stay free and safe place.
What I am worried about is: what should we do about such a common human practice as bullying?
What to do if special rooms are set up in the Museum to attack someone or some project(s)? What to do if someone starts to evaluate, accuse or humiliate another project or person?
Not because he or she is a danger to the community, but because, for example, it “doesn’t follow some rules” or just annoys someone else?
After all, we can’t exclude anyone or/and evaluate or accuse people.
Does anyone have an opinion?