The Art Gallery Of New South Wales: A Virtual Experience

1916 words - 8 pages

3. Many art galleries/museums now offer elaborate websites. This virtual experience raises many factors that challenge the ways in which we conventionally view art. Discuss this statement through a close analysis of the web site of the AGNSW (www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/). In particular, you should look at the sections dealing with Exhibitions, Collection and Education, especially ‘my virtual gallery’ that appears in Education.

In the 21st century age of technology, there is a constant conflict between the reception of art through a gallery website as opposed to experiencing it in the physical space of the art gallery or museum. Over time the consumption of art and purpose of art galleries has developed dramatically. Brian O’Doherty’s theory of the modern gallery space, displays a notion of a conventional way to view art whereby artworks are nowadays presented in a neutral gallery setting isolated from exterior meanings, ‘the white cube’ *(article). Essential to his theory is the relationship between content and context of an artwork, where limitations of ‘the white cube’ model excludes context. With extensive virtual visual and textual features, websites like the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) website can provide auxiliary insights into the art displayed in the gallery. The threat of these simulating and replacing the traditional visit to the gallery is diminished by a number of factors, which make it beneficial in creating a unique experience. In the case of the AGNSW, their role of educating is further extended by offering a highly structured and extensive website that has created new ways of observing art. It is designed to effectively enhance the gallery experience. With theoretical frameworks efficiently installed through aspects of the website, it retains the authoritative nature of the art museum in constructing how the public inspect and examine art.
Conventional ways to view art are implemented by art institutions, such that of the AGNSW, who describes ways of looking at art on their website. In attempt to explain the ever changing world of art it gives a lucid guide to ways one could read and interpret art, including personal responses, contextualizing and acknowledging formal components. As they acknowledge how “Many artists spend weeks, months, even years creating a work of art. Yet many people only spend seconds looking at it” *(AGNSW website), they suggest delving further and exploring. This reaffirms the potential of a gallery, where it may be an institution for simply viewing, as well as possibilities for research, education and analysis, specifically accessible on their website.

Majority of gallery websites today will incorporate a way to view some of their works on their website. With architectural limitations of the physical space only exhibiting small proportion of their works, the website enables them to view/list works not on display, showing their full potential *(Cooper, par. 3). In an attempt to reach all...

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