Statement by Kim Conaty

Can a museum serve as a “power station, a producer of new energy”? Alexander Dorner’s proposition, offered in the years immediately following the second World War, has inspired the work of museum in progress since its founding, and – three decades later – it remains an equally powerful and complex challenge to today’s institutions. During a period marked by rampant museum construction, from the groundbreakings of newly founded institutions to the massive expansion projects of existing ones, I’m struck once again by the creative freedom, efficiency, risk-taking, and art- and artist-centered mission that lies at the heart of museum in progress. If museum in progress was founded as an initiative to move beyond the walls of cultural institutions, these very bricks-and-mortar establishments are now the ones that need to learn to work differently, to serve our publics more expansively, and to create flexible platforms that best suit artists’ needs. Indeed, the twenty-first century art museum is still very much in progress.