“In a conventional museum experience, you, the visitor, may consume art only by looking at the paintings, sculptures, or photographs on view. You are not allowed to touch the works, and certainly not able to take them home. In defiance of this well-established standard, Take Me (I’m Yours) extends an invitation. Featuring works by more than forty artists from different generations and from all over the world, the exhibition asks you not only to get into close contact with the artworks, but to take them away and keep them for good.
Take Me (I’m Yours) aims to create a democratic space for all visitors to take ownership of artworks, and curate their personal art collections, by subverting the usual politics of value, consumerism, and the museum experience. Visitors constantly transform the landscape of the galleries, bit by bit, through direct engagement.
This presentation builds upon an iconic exhibition of the same name that took place in 1995 at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Conceived by the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and the artist Christian Boltanski, it included works by twelve artists, several of whom are participating again here. Obrist and Boltanski took inspiration from a host of histories and ideologies related to possession, from the anarchist idea that “ownership is theft” to the post-1960s dematerialization of the object in conceptual art.
Restaging this exhibition at the Jewish Museum, a collecting institution with holdings that span centuries, offers occasion to rethink the role of the museum as an archive. Instead of collecting works and preserving them for all eternity, we are giving them away. Sharing pervades Jewish life, beginning in the home and extending out to the community. Here the exhibition is the home, and the works are what we share with you, our visitors.
Please feel free to take a work of art! It’s yours!” — Introductory Wall Text
Take Me (I’m Yours) at the Jewish Museum, New York is curated by Jens Hoffmann, Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programs, the Jewish Museum; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, the Serpentine Galleries, London; and Kelly Taxter, Associate Curator, the Jewish Museum.
Images courtesy The Jewish Museum.