Contaminating through art. Aesthetics, new museums and the problem of the cultural diversity
AbstractNowadays there is a quite common belief in the “intercultural” nature of the art, representing a precious instrument for widening people and population’s imaginary, improving contacts to alterity and reducing in this way prejudices towards stranger and diversity. Nonetheless, art serves also as a differentiation tool and consequently the question is: how is it possible to avoid that museums end up perpetuating borders and/or hierarchies among cultures? Through the analysis of the alterity’s representation proposed by the “new museums” (particularly by the Parisian Musée du Quai Branly), the paper highlights the need of rethinking the whole concept of art, involving the aesthetics as well as the more sensible approaches to these questions (studies on métissage and cultural studies). In this way it could be possible to define a perspective, focussed on the concepts of plurality and relationship, which are able to suggest new answers to the problem of cultural diversity, provoking positive effects on the social and educational level. The idea of a “cultural contamination” can offer to the didactics of art some direction and meaning, trying to knock the rough edges off between identities and cultures, and between “us” and the “others.”
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