PRINT December 2011

Tim Griffin

Ger van Elk, The Well Polished Floor Sculpture, 1969–80/2010, polished floor. Installation view, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2010. Photo: Hogers & Versluys.

THE TEMPORALITY OF ART’S DISPLAY has always been in dialogue with that of the surrounding culture, and, more acutely, with that of commerce and its cycles of production and consumption. If, for example, during the workers’ reform movements of the 1800s the great expositions saw an extension of exhibition hours to make it possible for popular audiences to visit after the factory day shift, by the end of the nineteenth century encyclopedic institutions such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art would be attuned to shoppers’ attention spans. (When people visited either the encyclopedic museum or the newly created department store, they expected to spend three or four hours of their day—and the respective architectures were organized accordingly.) In our own time, a venue like the Palais de Tokyo in Paris could situate itself on the porous border between work and leisure,

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