The visitors of this new exciting museum received printed toilet paper invites of the brand 'COSY' which were sent by mail (see gallery below). Each tour reflects on the political conflicts present at the time of recording in Spring/Summer 2020 when the majority of cultural institutions had to close their doors to visitors and a big part of (cultural) life took place online. In its potentially 'clumsy' montage aesthetic, the DENISEUM reveals itself as a DIY museum inline with the sudden necessity to construct all kinds of infrastructures from scratch with little skills, including art and education. Despite its humour and lightness of presentation, the DENISEUM takes its responsibility of being a place of debate very seriously in the context of the pandemic - but it allows its visitors in first before getting interrupted by zoom calls.
Guided tour 1:
KUNST MUSS RIECHEN
(ART MUST SMELL)
Inauguration Guided Tour (12min):
Kunst Muss Riechen/Art Must Smell adresses the sudden loss of sensual experience outside of one's home in the shadow of current political conflicts present at the start of the Covid Pandemic in 2020 (between UK/Austria).
The tour starts with a statement taken from Andrea Fraser's work 'Official Welcome' (2001) in which she refers to herself through the voice of her collectors; a work which I previously discussed in my PhD thesis. Throughout the tour, I guide the visitors through the different rooms of the museum - each of which smells different depending on the painting present; all of which I produced from 2010-2012 on the subject of social and economic conflicts. The tour ends with a photograph of the kitchen of the Royal Opera House's prima ballerina in London, which she posted on her instagram in March 2020 once lockdown in England started. She is rehearsing ballet in her kitchen which appears as a sanitized space, free from any traces of food or smells.
Guided tour 2
Am I Front or Am I Backstage?
The DENISEUM'S second guided tour (10min) adresses the new forms of intimacy that have developped over the course of the pandemic by those who had the possibility of working from home; sharing intimate spaces with strangers; suddenly the lines between private and workspace got more and more blurred; and a 'new' voyeurism emerged (How does my boss live ?). The beginning of this tour copies Dominic Cummings' interview from Downing Street's Rose Garden in May 2020 which he gave after being accused of having broken lockdown rule.s The tour carries own with discussion examples of voyeurism in Modern Art such as the celebrated works by Degas; depicting vulnerable young women behind the scenes of the Paris Opera House; followed by discussion of a bathroom selfie by Kim Kardashian; also posted during the pandemic. This is then further juxtaposed with events happening in the public space in Britain where in the context of Black Lives Matter, the British government felt the need to cover the statue of Winston Churchill. But then the tour gets interrupted with a zoom conference between Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, featuring their asynchronous citation of Charlie Chaplin’s final speech in The Great Dictator (1940).