When we had the opportunity to visit the exact locations where Van Gogh placed his easel to paint, at the time of the year approximately in that painted each one of his wonderful works, our previous perception about the art of this huge and controversial talent changed, evolved, was enriched in an unimaginable way before that fantastic trip. The same with Cezanne, occurred to us as we discussed in a previous blog, when we visited his studio in Aix en Provence French. Pictures magnify from the sensations that we perceived in his atelier: the smell of oil and turpentine, the dust is suspended in the air, the sunlight of Provence that filtered through the trees in the garden of the House of Cézanne. We even eat what they liked to Lord Cézanne before painting to taste. To capture the essence of the painting of the artist, in the most comprehensive manner possible, was a lot better being there and not so much surrounded by his work at the museum d’Orsay, actually an art store. To plunge into reality using our five senses to get all the juice, as it was with the work of Van Gogh and Cezanne, you will have to visit locations that were part of his life and his work. All this if we want them to know, in all its dimensions, or, at least, as much as possible to approach this dimension. Taking a glass of Absinthe in the cafe terrace of the square in Arles, where the Red genius used to drink and paint at night and until dawn, our intimate way of capturing the essence of his work will change forever. It will happen with everything related to art, the work of all the artists, but also in many other fields of human knowledge such as science and the History.
Summer night reaches Arles. Specifically to the Cafe Van Gogh (as it is called now), and if we do a little exercise of abstraction, we can see the redhaired genius with his easel at the end of the terrace.
From this way of perceiving reality, we ponder whether in museums, when we look at objects, when we look at art, are receiving incomplete information since the reality of the context of each object and each work is not the Museum. We might even think that the Museum is a unnatural to most of the contents. Not should we bear in mind this reflection when implementing the museographic projects? Should we be required to contextualize the objects, art, absolute fairness to all its potential of sensory perception? We think that Yes, that we should take care to maximize the work of contextualization to help visitors perceive a ‘virtual reality’ most similar to the real reality possible. If the professional museologists focus our effort in the didactic work that museums should take now and forever, then in our projects must take into account the relationship between the perception of the individual on the reality and the senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste, what we could call work on sensory perception of visitors, and generate the context suitable for the contents exposed in museums. You don’t see much but perceive.
Evidently the abilities, if we can enjoy the work of Rembrandt in his house, decorated with original furniture, windows and crystals with the same Rembrandt looked at the streetWe can approach much to an essential reality to assess his work properly. The same thing see brushes he used, how he rode a canvas, the type of mixture used to create colors, etc. We believe that this information is essential to appreciate a historical fact, in this case related to Universal art. We have noted that this is particularly useful for children today, since they have a very particular way of perceiving reality in a world led by ultra-tecnificados media who have access since they are babies. Children have a relationship with the content basically involving sight and little else. We take into account that there are very important content that must be received involving the rest of the senses? Children must must learn how to use the rest of the senses to perceive the world as it is. The senses are instruments of perception which should serve to reach a model of learning about the history, direct and close to reality. Because the context is part of the story. The teaching of history should include an approach to the context, and all of this should happen in the museums.
From the knowing of History, all these approaches to solutions to incorporate the teaching of museums may seem unrealistic. It stimulates us to see that in some cases it is being done, and it is happening, with a huge success. We have seen that learning, especially in the case of children, changes radically and that in this way the knowledge lasts. In Spain we have the example of the Thyssen Museum, where constantly programmed activities that make the perception of everyone that participate to the art to improve exponentially. We know that not all we can afford the luxury of keep track of Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, stroll along Utah Beach in Normandy near the shore where the landings took place, or observe the conditions with which Marie Curie worked beside her husband before discovering x-rays. And thus to infinity and beyond. But, Yes, we can make the effort to interpret the reality of fundamental knowledge, of knowing that we must teach well to anyone who wants to learn, we have to be fair with the perception of this reality. History, art, we have to do them justice and its protagonists also, of course, a closer look, as much as we can, the way they had to live their lives and at the appropriate time. We need to understand those ways of understanding reality, with the use of the same capabilities that became universal geniuses these people of great sensitivity: we must use our senses. Insistently, enacting its value, it will end up achieving, but you must first definitively abandon old patterns that don’t work and which do not attract visitors to the museums, but quite the opposite. To evolve, you have to know to leave what does not work. Hurry!
Museums in the world who have spent years museograficly contextualized the contents to maximize their teaching ability. Make good is not always associated with huge budgets, nor much less, it is developing good ideas and some skill to carry out
Master image: campaign of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.