chapter  4
28 Pages

Utopian ideas and Experiments at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century

The prospect of regenerating a rundown neighbourhood or even an entire city has lain behind some investments such as the Tate of the North in Liverpool. Many of these were soon branded as failures based on economic indicators, urban impact or the flow of tourists from other places, without taking into consideration their collection, their exhibition programmes, their educational events or their exemplary operations as museums. Such obsession in demanding from museums an impact in the regeneration of their environment seems to be relentless, despite the scepticism of those who have pointed out that when a previously degraded urban area becomes fashionable a phenomenon of gentrification seems to take place, which does not improve the life of the underprivileged population but simply transfers them elsewhere. The break with chronological-stylistic order from the diachronic distribution has questioned the very notion of museums of contemporary art since their speciality is defined, after all, as a result of a chronological differentiation.