"The wiles of contemporary art can be enough to deter the cautious museum goer from exploring the works of today's most cutting edge artists. Ben Eastham takes the conceptualism of art today in stride with his creative but completely accessible The Imaginary Museum. An amusing and dreamlike essay built out of Eastham's memories of various installations and exhibits he visited pre-pandemic, this book is literally an invitation to visit those works in a new type of museum. A visit to Eastham's (re)imagined museum of contemporary art will, hopefully, (re)arrange the architecture of your own memories so that you can echo the author's consternating clarification, "I'm the director?"
Join the art critic Ben Eastham on a private tour of an extraordinary, imaginary museum. Stand in front of some of the most incomprehensible art works in the world with an expert guide by your side, full of personal stories, expertise and human understanding.
In a stunningly original memoir and art guide we find ourselves among outrageous artworks, and we return again and again to the same question:
“But what does it mean?”
With the help of a cast of critics, guards, curators, artists, protestors and ghosts, Eastham explores the idea that the value of art is not to be found in what it means, but in what it does to you.
This is an argument to forget about what is and is not art and to instead think courageously and creatively about how things really make you feel. You don’t have to like the art works in this or any gallery, you don’t have to fully understand them either, but we can benefit from existing alongside them. And in doing so we learn about ourselves, and each other.