I forgot this museum reality in my previous post:
No one person is responsible for a museum’s success.*
Which is also to say my last post was perhaps unfair to the site, my coworkers, and myself. It was the sum of all of my anxieties and frustrations about museum work as I’ve experienced it. But it was inspired by more than a selfish perfectionism or a “god’s-gift” complex.
Whether we admit it or not, a museum’s internal politics, ignorance, and laziness are on display just as much as its diligence, knowledge, and aspirations. As one of the staff responsible for what we show the public (intentionally or not) I am hyper-aware of this.
All of which keeps me coming back to one question: if museum work is supposed to be collaborative at what point am I the reason that things don’t get done?
This where my head has been lately. Wondering how to consistently reach the place where my intention and my action meet, despite not being in charge (whatever that means) or even charged with change.
I say lately as though this is a new pursuit, but it seems like I’ve never not wrestled with this. For all the time I’ve pondered it I’m still at the same conclusion: it is always site- and staff-specific. And even then things might change from day to day. So I’ll keep looking.
And maybe use a little Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator to remove the occasional obstruction.
* Though one person can sink a museum.