Mediamatic Magazine 3#4 Stephen Sack 1 jan 1989

La Memoire Chromosomique

Nothing is more secret and elusive then the passing of time. And yet... in the photography of Stephen Sack time becomes so tangible and readable that it takes your breath away; time etches a portrait of itself in the copperplate of memory. In this issue are 13 prints of this chromosome memory, 13 pictures bitten by the acid of time.


Chromosome memory -

The best museum is a department store

The articles that follow, starting with The Epistimology of Leonardo and ending with / The Art of Dying, deal with the museification of the world. They contemplate the Museum as being the art of storing, as being the sacred show of memory and the temple of modish muses. Because whether it's the Anne Frank House or an exhibition of mammoths, the Museum remains a temple, a holy shop window for culture and science. But the question is: what is being revered, what is being honoured? First of all it's emptiness, because if the Museum is to be an absorbing spectacle then it must rid itself of all content, and it must be without cause or effect. Secondly, it's mass, because that is the content which is actually being exhibited. And thirdly it's circulation because while the museum remains static and the public queues, it is the exhibition that visits us - exhibitions travel the world and museums are changed into market stalls where cultural and informative wares are briefly displayed. Therefore Andy Warhole was not being so cynical when he claimed: The best museum is a department store. The Museum is the department store of art, and, as a commodity, art can free itself. So let us once more memorize the credo of the museologist John Archibald Pump II; No, art does not need to be freed from the museum, it is freed by the museum: extremely de-territorialized, stripped of her protecting aura and surrendered unto the promiscuous pairing of everything with everything and hence susceptible to a rule whose riddle we cannot know because we are too regulated by historical thought. The despicable art commodity has brutally and definitively discarded its weight and sense so as henceforth to be able merely to perform its capacity to enervate and dazzle us.