chapter  9
10 Pages

Making the National Museum Critical

ByPiotr Piotrowski

The concept of the critical museum and the ways in which we began turning it into practice, a brief foray into the history of the National Museum in Warsaw is first required. The Ars Homo Erotica exhibition curate by Paweł Leszkowicz and shown in the National Museum in Warsaw 2010. Ars Homo Erotica was not a historical show. Indeed, it was par excellence an art-historical show, definitely devised for the art museum. Ars Homo Erotica at the National Museum in Warsaw opened a new perspective, pointing to the ways of developing a critical mission of the museum in society, which stems from casting a critical gaze on the art objects in its collection, while upholding at the same time their authority, their museum status. Thus, the art museum can play a critical role in society because of the museum status of its objects, but under one condition only: if the museum uses them in the critical way.