PRINT Summer 2010

Tino Sehgal

WHILE THE ART MUSEUM might largely be considered a place for art history—a classifying repository for artworks of the past—there is another perspective that seems far more relevant when it comes to considering why the museum is so central to Western societies and, moreover, why its role is increasingly important around the world. In short, from this perspective the museum is a place of self-government, governmentality, or liberal government—a place for a secular ritual, in other words, where categories that constitute the basis of our society are enacted and exercised. Since, to me, this understanding of the museum seems to be less recognized, I would like to convey a sense of its significance by citing some of my favorite writings by its best thinkers.

First, an excerpt from Didier Maleuvre’s essay “Of History and Things: The Age of Exhibitions,” which stresses the close

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