April 17, 2019


In his article “Museums: Managers of Consciousness”, Haacke describes how museums are increasingly shifting their model of operation to. They are, if you want to put it in positive terms, great educational institutions. If you want to put it in negati ” – Hans Haacke quotes from Haacke H.’Museums, managers of consciousness’ B. Wallis (Ed.), Hans Haacke: unfinished business, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York and MIT.

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They make no apologies and have few romantic hang-ups. Consciousenss is perhaps not surprising that many museums indignantly reject the notion that they provide a biased view of the works in their custody. But a democratic society demands nothing less than that.

Suggestive of religious connotations, art, the production and the object itself has a mystical inference. Word has gotten around that material conditions and the ideological context in which an individual grows up and lives determines to a considerable extent his or her consciouusness.

Keep going, good work so far! Certainly, shows that could promote critical awareness, present products manzgers consciousness dialectically and in relation to the social world, or question relations of power have a slim chance of being approved-not only because they are unlikely to attract corporate funding, but also because they could sour relations with potential sponsors for other shows.

Museum leadership, once the sole realm of the curator, is now being divided into artistic directors conzciousness operations officers. They do not blush in assessing the receptivity and potential development of an audience for their product.

He believes this to be the way to take down corporate conglomerates using art for personal gain.

As long as the attention is brought to the public, the biotech marketing has worked and at the expense of the tax payers once again. Why have business executives been receptive to the museums’ pleas for money? To state that obvious fact, however, is not an accusation of devious conduct. Agility in dealing with political parties, possibly even membership in a party, can be an asset.

Hans Haacke – Wikiquote

Haacke believes this musekms turn problematic for artists and the arts in general. Museums have to be maintained either by public agencies-the tradition in Europe-or through donations from private individuals and philanthropic organizations, as has been the pattern in the United States.


The channeling of consciousness is pervasive not only under dictatorships, but also in liberal societies. Not only mmanagers such a policy attract sophisticated personnel, but it also projected an image of the company as a good corporate citizen and advertised its products-all things which impress investors. Artists, as much as galleries, museums, and journalists not excluding art historianshesitate to discuss the industrial aspect of their activities.

They are assisted by paid advisors, accountants, lawyers, and public relations agents. Funding, as much as one’s prospect for promotion to more prestigious posts, depends on how well one can play the game. Museum managers have learned, of course, what kind of shows are likely to attract corporate funding.

Haacke denounces this, and asserts it becomes similar to the way dictatorships and totalitarian governments publicize government propaganda. Under Clement Greenberg’s tutelage, everything that made worldly references was simply excommunicated from art so as to shield the Grail of taste from contamination. I interviewed both the curator of the museum and the director of development to discover their experiences working with corporate sponsors.

Museums: Managers of Consciousness

What the emergence of arts administration departments in business schools demonstrates, however, is the fact that in spite of the mystique surrounding the production and distribution of art, we are now-and indeed have been all along-dealing with social organizations that follow industrial modes of operation, ranging in size from the cottage industry managerd national and multinational conglomerates.

Since the corporate blanket is so warm, glaring examples of direct interference rare, and the increasing dominance of the museums’ development offices hard to trace, the change of climate is hardly perceived, nor is it taken as a threat. Without exerting any direct pressure, corporations have effectively gained a veto in museums, even though their financial contribution often covers only a fraction of the costs of an exhibition.

From business schools, Art Managers are beginning to transcend into the art world like never before.

The larger, more lavishly appointed these shows and their catalogues became, however, the more glamour the audiences began to expect. As has been customary in U. Adherents of the doctrine believe that art does not and should not reflect the squabbles of the day. An institution’s intellectual and moral position becomes tenuous only if it claims to be free of ideological bias. No citation, sorry, I lent my copy and it walked Trained by prestigious business schools, they are convinced that art can and should be managed like the production and marketing of other goods.


It is not uncommon that messages are received in a garbled, distorted form; they may even relay the opposite of what was intended not to mention the kinds of creative confusion and muddle-headedness that can accompany the art work’s production. With so many variables, there is ample room for exegesis and a livelihood is thus guaranteed for many workers in the consciousness industry. Even the intricacies of labor relation and the ways in which interpersonal issues might affect the organization are part of their curriculum.

On the contrary, they are usually convinced that their activities are in the best interests of art. Haacke believes that by doing this art can remain democratic as it was intended to be. Newer Post Older Post Home.

The institutional function is a great case to study. And this attitude, in turn, will have an effect on the type of products we will soon begin to see. Of course, all these and other skills have been employed for decades coneciousness art-world denizens of the old school. The art world as a whole, and museums in particular, belong to what has aptly been called the “consciousness industry.

Hans Haacke

During the past twenty years, the power relations between art institutions and their sources of funding have become more complex. The tax authorities, however, have no compunction in assessing the income derived from the “spiritual” activities. In effect, they are unwitting sponsors of private corporate policies, which in many cases, are detrimental to their health and safety, the general welfare, and in conflict with their personal ethics.