The Fine Arts Museums of San
Francisco invited artist Ana Prvački, known for her projects that use humor to
disarm traditional museum structures and behaviors, to develop an artwork that
frames the museum experientially, rather than as an exhibition venue. In the
resulting project, Detour, Prvački
lead visitors on an alternative tour of the museum, encouraging them to imagine
new ways of viewing, connecting, and behaving in the space.
When we visit a museum, we expect to look at things, and although we aren’t given instructions, we tend to look at things in a certain way: we move at a measured pace, regard an artwork, read its label, and move to the next; we may sit and take in the gallery as a whole. In "Detour", the artist Ana Prvački asked us to reconsider how we behave in and look at the museum through a series of filmed vignettes that imagine the environment experientially rather than as an exhibition venue. Through a special collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, these short videos were accessible on mobile devices via Google Lens at various spots throughout the museum.
Prvački is known for her participatory projects that use humor to disarm traditional museum structures and behaviors. Over the course of a year, she performed a kind of courtship with the de Young. Hoping to learn the museum’s secrets and quirks, she visited many times, explored its grounds and galleries, researched its collections, spoke to staff, and observed other visitors. Prvački is interested in the kinds of intimacies that such encounters can create and in the close relationships we develop with objects like our phones, which accompany us everywhere, carry our secrets, and connect us to one another.
For this project Prvački uses the phone as a form of direct address; through it she telegraphs her actions and asks us to follow her lead. Each video addresses a different topic in relation to the de Young. With subjects ranging from ancient myths to personal intimacies, environmental matters, and vision exercises, each film initiates a unique set of relationships: between objects and environments, between the artist and viewer, and between ourselves and our desires. Such encounters urge us to envision new ways of viewing, connecting, and behaving in the museum—and maybe even outside of it.
Introduction by Ana Prvačkide Young museum
Frolick by Ana Prvačkide Young museum
Louise & Penelope
Bee Memorial by Ana Prvačkide Young museum