The Unbearable Whiteness (Guadalajara)

Guadalajara, Mexico. Museo de Las Artes. White is a universal symbol of neutrality and objectivity. It creates the purified container and official "void" that surrounds contemporary art. It gives it authority.

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Nothingness competes with nothing.

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No matter how controversial the color choice or how custom-mixed the paint, white still changes in every aspect of light.

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The purpose of white is to take away context. It's a cognitive rest that can be hypnotic, numbing. 

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White is used to "set off" the art. It also sets off the world outside. 

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It sets off architectural details. And like a graphic extension of the art itself, it sets off the museum's exhibition posters.

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Museum graphic identities use "white space" like art & photography books, to create elegant spacious margins of emptiness. MUSA's logo plays with white in the negative shape of their building. It's a neutral space that intrudes just a bit into the art, to point at it.

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White becomes a typographic object outside, to set off the red "a" of art.

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Art museum stores extend the gallery experience, using white to "elevate" objects and make them precious.

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I saw two interesting exhibitions here, but I found myself noticing other visitors a lot. If white allows us to see modern art without context, then the visitors also float around without context. Like the art, they are objects that stand out.

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There is no real sense of privacy.

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Visitor's behavior feels like a casually watched performance.

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They contemplate the art

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and also contemplate each other, peripherally.

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Like kinetic figurative sculptures, moving, posing, moving, posing.

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