Abstract of R. Snapir Lecture


R. Snapir
Akim Israel

Why isn't the Art of the intellectually disabled, exhibited in museums?
Museums are an integral part of our culture and determine what the
viewer will see when visiting exhibitions. Does a work of art
necessarily require IQ, knowledge, years of study, verbal
communication and should it be part of the 'scene'? Is it possible to
find a single definition for 'art' acceptable by all? "Outsider Art" is a
concept that filtered the art community's vocabulary in the last fifty
years; it is the art of disabled people, either physical, or emotional.
However, the role of intellectually disabled artists is not yet part of it. It
seems that pushing their work aside has nothing to do with their actual
art, but with internal-social processes in the world of art and the
establishment. These processes define the artists with intellectual
disability as an exception that does not deserve representation. Lately,
several steps have been taken towards changing the approach to the
Art of the intellectually disabled, Exhibitions are taking place in public
spaces, but still, there is almost no recognition within the internal-art
territories. The Art of this minority, that has so much to offer
artistically, shouldn't remain unrecognized. This art, created in the
private, intimate spaces, far from the observing eye, should be
exhibited out in open – in public spaces of culture.

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