chapter  15
11 Pages

Spectacle and archive in two contemporary art museums in Spain

As many chapters in this book point out, there is a curious paradox in museum studies. On the one hand, many writings on museums in the last decades have an explicitly critical approach, describing museums as institutions that reproduced the structures of social power. But at the same time that this institutional critique emerged, the museum has become the star of cultural policy: museums have blossomed, expanded and multiplied, becoming symbols of absolute modernity – the places one has to see, now. In this chapter, I look at how this paradox has been addressed in two new contemporary art museums in Spain, which were created after, and partially in response to, institutional critique.