Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Desert of Forbidden Art

There's this desert, right, where there's this art. Just, you know, scattered around. That dune contains masters, portraits are by that oasis, and statues are buried over there...

Okay, not really, but The Desert of Forbidden Art is a better title than "museum of forbidden art which is in a town that is in a desert".

This movie is about the history of Stalin's Russia, about the artists living at the time and about Igor Savitsky who tried to preserve it. As much as the art could be preserved that was illegal and stored in bad conditions. As much as the artists could make a living in a country where the only allowable images were of Socialist Realism and expressing negative ideas could get you in prison. But perseverance lead to the creation of a museum in Nukus.

What occurred to me while watching this, especially when it comes to how much art can be displayed, is that there is a huge amount of art produced in the world, and more being produced each day... and how are we to preserve it all? (I'm ignoring the question of whether it should be preserved, or what is good art, etc.) Art is to be viewed/experienced, yet even in major museums a lot of the collection is housed because there isn't the space to display it all. And this problem is going to increase. Will we reach the point where these are going to have to be stored electronically (which has its own storage issues) and reproduced on an 'as needed' basis? No idea...

As with a lot of the movies I've seen in this festival, this is another provoking film that raises issues of 'we need to help these people out', but it is getting to the point of 'too many things!'.


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