In a world where art serves as a mirror reflecting society's complexities, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA Seoul) stands as a gateway to understanding the profound impact of museums. Through a curated screening series titled "What We Talk About When We Talk About Museum," MMCA Seoul invites viewers to delve into the intricate layers of art institutions with five thought-provoking documentaries that promise to captivate and challenge conventional perspectives.
Blind Mr. Shiratori Goes to See Art (2022)
Directed by Ario Kawauchi, this documentary takes the audience on an extraordinary journey alongside visually impaired art lover Kenji Shiratori. The film unfolds the unique processes and challenges faced by Shiratori as he embarks on a pilgrimage of art museums. Despite being completely blind, Shiratori's profound desire to experience art sparks meaningful conversations with companions, prompting viewers to ponder the diverse ways art can be appreciated.
White Balls on Walls (2021)
Directed by Sarah Vos, this documentary explores the transformative process at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, where the art collection was once dominated by male artists. In 1995, a feminist artist group initiated change by chanting the provocative slogan "white balls on walls" in front of the museum, challenging the dominance of white male perspectives in art history. The film sheds light on the power of activism and its role in reshaping the narrative within cultural institutions.
The New Rijksmuseum — The Film (2014)
Directed by Oeke Hoogendijk, this documentary provides a decade-long glimpse into the extension of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. As the film unfolds, it explores the concerns and conflicts surrounding the museum's expansion, home to iconic works by Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt. The narrative captures the intricate dance between preserving historical treasures and meeting the demands of a modern world.
The Museum (2017)
Set against the backdrop of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, established in 1965, this documentary directed by [Director's Name] showcases the museum's diverse collections spanning ancient to modern times. The film offers a compelling narrative on how the institution is managed by staff members from various cultural, ethnic backgrounds, and religions, underlining the universal language of art that transcends boundaries.
National Gallery (2014)
Filmed by Frederick Wiseman during a 12-week stay at the National Gallery in London, this documentary features the institution itself as the main character. Without relying on specific events or interviews, the film provides an immersive experience of the daily lives within the National Gallery. From adjusting lighting in exhibition rooms to preserving artworks, the documentary underscores the meticulous efforts behind the scenes.
The screening program goes beyond the cinematic experience, offering enriching discussions with experts in art and museum architecture on Jan. 26, Feb. 23, March 15, and April 5. As viewers immerse themselves in these documentaries, they are not merely spectators but active participants in unravelling the profound connections between art, museums, and society.
For the detailed filming schedule, enthusiasts are encouraged to check MMCA's official website, ensuring they don't miss the opportunity to engage with these captivating narratives that promise to reshape perceptions and inspire a deeper appreciation for the world of art.