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Máster Oficial > Trabajos de investigación

Ned Somerville
Proximity in the Museu Blau
Director/es: Alfons Zarzoso Orellana
Fecha de lectura: 16-06-2015

During my initial interview with Pere Viladot, before being offered the intership, we talked about the early history of the Blau's predecessor, the Museu Martorell. Upon opening its doors as the first purpose-built public museum of any kind in Barcelona, donations to its collection began pouring in from private sources. The museum's publics donated to its contents-- a fascinating historical example of the emergence model. It was out of this first conversation that the basic idea for the Night at the Museum event was born.

The Night of the Museum was a burst of inspiration, with institutional approval. What is needed now is institutional commitment. The museum's strategic plan emphasizes proximity (“promote participation and collaboration with the surrounding environment”), but it remains unclear from this document the form that this should take. This lack of definition makes shared responsibility for the task between museum departments difficult. Also unclear is the means by which the museum is held accountable to this goal, or rather, what consequences would result from its neglect. Thus, the project of proximity lacks emergency, sifting its way down the priority chain to become a project for a student intern.

If proximity is to be grasped in its most significant sense, the Museu Blau must consider its own identity and values and the those of its neighboring entities, and seek realistic projects that incorporate authentic cooperation. It must be open to sharing ownership of projects, taking institutional risks, and making long-term relational investments with the community that transcend the simple “give and take” structure. Proximity, in this sense, means much more than increasing the number of local visitors to the museum. More than just “being together” it implies an act of “becoming together.” This is a challenge even person to person, and its complexity is amplified by the Museu Blau's institutional identity.