I remember being angry in 2012 because it felt like our performance with Hanna and Pietari, The Heroes of Art was not getting the traction it deserved. I talked about it to Jussi who calmed me down by asking: “Why do you care about museums so much? Don’t you have more important things to attend to?”. This made me aware that if I really wanted to renew institutions, the best response would be to work on and with, the ones which accept me as I am. I think he was urging me to invest more effort to Tehdas Ry. Jussi wasn’t calling for me to “cancel” museums, just to ignore them. This made me a healthier artist.
I was reminded of this when reading The Strongest Reactions to the Philip Guston Show’s Postponement Miss Two Key Points. Here’s What They Are—and Why They Matter (2020) by Ben Davis. He identifies two phenomenons which hinder museums capacity to respond: “Context Collapse” meaning that the “professional art discourse don’t center the ‘cultural conversation’ anymore; the trending social media conversation clearly dominates. ” which leads to the “original intention” of an exhibition to be is “easily overwritten.” The other hindrance he identifies is “Paranoid Reading” a style of “interpretation in which, no matter the object at hand, the exposure of its secret negative side would recur as the main point of interpretation.” The term is credited to Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading (1997) Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.