What sort of a museum for the twenty-first century?

«Thinking is not active, rather you should become passive, receptive,
so that you can be stimulated by another’s viewpoint.»
Guy Debord

To prepare its opening the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean is promoting the concept «be the artists’ guest», or how to give free rein to artists and designers, letting them take over the entire museum, not just the usual exhibition areas but the in-between spaces too : the operational areas intended for public use (reception, the reading room, café, auditorium…), but also the corridors (the main hall, the entrance...).

Indeed, even though museum visitors include all sorts — scholars, art lovers, novices, the simply curious, the indifferent or contemptuous —, «be the artists’ guest» will invite them all feel free to leave whatever «mental baggage» they carry behind at the museum door, just like the Japanese custom of taking your shoes off on the doorstep.

This way you are invited to discover the museum from another’s viewpoint, to admire art, to contemplate it, to understand and enjoy it with the artists’ eye. As a result the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean should surprise, amuse, inform, open up, suggest and inspire.

We intend everything that goes into making the museum «from floor to ceiling» (what people eat, the art they look at, what they buy, the conferences they attend, the web site they log onto), be given over to the imaginative world of artists, be seen from their viewpoint and meet the challenge of both arousing and shielding a startled public and its aspirations, being different yet at the same time doing what all museums do.

Marie-Claude Beaud
Luxembourg, April 2002

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