Saturday, November 11, 2006

Local Favorites to run the Musee des beaux arts


The big news here is that Guy Cogeval is not going to run the Musee des beaux arts as of July 1, 2007. The French version, and the English version despite what the article says, I can't find the press release for love or money.

My best guess would be that he got offered something 18th Century back in France, when the Groupe Bizot was in town a month ago. But the big question to me, is who fits into his striped socks?

I haven't had time to go over the international or the national candidates, and will attempt to deal with those sort of people in the near future, but locally, these are the folk I would think could do a good job (in no particular order):
Louise Dery, currently runs the UQAM gallery. Used to be contemporary art curator at the Musee des beaux arts. Is responsible for next year's Canadian entry at the Venice Biennale. Unfortunately, I can't imagine that she's real strong in older art, and furniture design, but coming from a university she obviously has some serious bureaucratic skills. And on top of it, she's a babe.

John Porter, currently at the Musee National des beaux arts du Quebec, all he would have to do is cross off two words from his current business card in order to make the switch. Quite probably the most informed person in the province about Quebecois culture, my guess is that as a consequence he isn't that strong on a broader, say international scale. But as you know, I have been wrong before, and I will be wrong again. More things in his favor; I can't imagine a more political and bureaucratic job than the one he already has, and the MBAM is a political and bureaucratic job. What he lacks in furniture design he more than makes up in local and older. Unfortunately for me, I can't imagine that he is much of a babe.

Yolande Racine, currently runs the Cinematheque Quebecoise. And the thing that impresses me most about her is that a couple of years ago the cinematheque was on its last legs, just about to give up the ghost, and forced to close during the summer in order to save enough cash in order to pay its staff. If you haven't noticed the cinematheque is still around. Obviously Ms. Racine knows how to raise some cash (unless of course I misread the organigram, and it was due to someone else's work, in which case all of this applies to them). Since the Musee des beaux arts just signed up to buy and convert the Erskine & American Church they sure as shootin' are gonna need some serious fundraising. Obviously she can handle politics and bureaucrats like nobody's business, just due to the nature of the cinematheque, but on top of that she (like Ms. Dery) used to be a curator of contemporary art at the MBAM, and (like Ms. Dery) since she is a woman, she must be a babe (I haven't actually ever met her in person, so I gotta make assumptions.

Paulette Gagnon, currently head curator at the Musee d'art contemporain, and from my perspective the power behind the throne there (note to certain readers: the current director does not use a throne in order to sit at his desk). Obviously, she can handle bureaucrats and politics, ignore what I wrote previously about running the cinematheque working at the MACM is the acme of politics and bureaucracy combining in a cultural industry here in town. However, the thing that made me think that she was most capable of doing the job, is that back when I met M. Cogeval, he in fact did wear striped socks on both days. The only time I ever met Ms. Gagnon, she wore striped tights. If you're still reading this far in, you must agree with me, that Ms. Gagnon is a babe. What I really like most about the idea of Ms. Gagnon taking over the 'other' museum is that it would enable Marc Mayer (the dude running MACM and not using a throne to run it either) to really make it over the way that he sees it. Both museums are then forced to deal with serious change and as a consequence forced to get better. Win-win-win-win all around, don'tcha think?

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