The Museum

…What belongs in a museum, anyway? An epic landscape painting, sure. A crib? A baby? A photograph of a crib and a baby?

…Though we often understand art as representation, it actually operates through exclusion and distortion. Art changes the world—distills it, transforms it, and rejects it—in order to focus and electrify our attention. Beauty rises from what feels recognizable and faraway at once….

Art asks us to briefly abandon our lives in order to come back with a changed gaze. It’s the daydream and the homecoming. The point is the residue; the fact that we have not left untouched.

Leslie Jamison, “Other Voices, Other Rooms,” New York Review of Books, 14 May 2020

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