Lessons from the polis : the Minneapolis Museum of Art
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Philosophers Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Hans-Georg Gadamer have critiqued the modern museum as a place of art for the sake of art, where the aesthetics of the work have come to dominate the conversation. In the Relevance of the Beautiful, Hans-Georg Gadamer distinguishes between aesthetics and a works poetic beauty as a delicate interplay of showing and concealing. The beautiful is presented through play, symbol and festival. This thesis explores Gadamer and Pérez-Gómez’s arguments in an architecture which blends influence from the ancient Greek Polis. The Agora a vital public space dedicated itself to the success and longevity of the Greek Polis. It was space of participation which relied on an overlapping of one- self and the artifacts/rituals of Greek culture. Like the Agora this museum seeks to envelope visitors in an atmosphere, which unfolds and frames not only the artwork but also opportunities to gather and discuss the works of art. The sinuous flow of conversations and exhibits are supported by residencies, which broaden the discussion by inviting the participation of local and distant thinkers. Restoring the labyrinthine experience of the work of art through conversation.