Robin Held Is Leaving the Frye

Will Her Position Be Cut?


Wonderful article and good for her! Filmaking is such an important medium and I hope that it is a fulfilling experience. The "19th century model" comment bothers me. It's on shaky ground and closed at the top. The only thing that is important is the innovation of the people involved and the end results they can produce. It can be achieved by having a strong curator but also allow the artists more freedom. Otherwise it will be a rudderless failure.

I think a lot about what a museum should and can be. That balanced experience between looking at art and learning about art. The balance between History and work by living artists (young and old, short and long CVs)-- and how they complement each other. That balance seems to be off in most institutions.
Congrats Robin! What a great gift to the city you are!
good job well down, fresh air is always nice, thanks!
This article seems rich in subtext and double talk, especially in the quoted statements. I sense a cover up in the language of the quotes. Many of us view Robin Held as an extraordinary asset at the Frye. We liked her in a position at Frye of such professional elevation and liked her being respected and supported there. It would be gratifying to see Robin move to a job of similar status and support. There is no reason to doubt that she looks forward to the new position. But as you imply, what could be behind it? It's interesting that Danzker did not hire Held and that the Frye has shown signs of possible financial problems. Could there have been some personality tensions here? The fact that Danzker knew of the move doesn't mean the Frye management didn't influence the move. Held could have been hauled into an office or taken to lunch and have been told something indicating her Frye job was not secure well before she moved to move. Iinstitutions are skilled in keeping inside scoop hidden. Attending the Museum Director's panel on art censorship demonstrated how crafty and refined directors are in careful speech and spin.The Frye let Yoko Ott go apparently over budgetary issues. Was it in a slide? I'm reminded of the Social Linguist, Deborah Tannen, who puts forth the idea of metalanguage. The idea is that humans tend to hide what's going on verbally and what matters is in the subtext of their speech.…

It's seems a bit curious what Danzker is getting at when she points out that Held prefers unconventional exhibitions and when Danzker seems to limit Held's job description to mostly giving tours. Odd language. It seems curious to call up Victorian museum habits as desirable and horizontal. I'm not sure, historically, the 19th century museum was very mature but rather a new idea birthing itself. The "horizontal" reference could indicate the gain of eliminating Held's job so Danzker can have more direct contact with artists.These are two wonderful and capable art scene women. There may have been friction or whatever; we will never know. I do suspect Held is in a holding mode waiting for opportunity.

In the last number of decades, the health of the art world has followed the health of the economy. When New York and America took over as the driver of the art world from Europe, the west and the dollar was the center of world economics aided by smart cultures that were involved in a very profitable colonial resource grab in what was called the third world. Looking back suggests America's economic power was and will be a temporary bubble. What's so wonderful is that regardless of conditions artists seem incapable of stopping what they do. Even if not for money. We want the beauty of the Frye to survive and not see something strange like corporate advertisements incorporated into exhibits like we see in sports and universities. We are stuck with hard times and a complete change in the drivers of the world economy and the health of nature. It is a bit scary raising questions about if the ways of the past can continue. I'm thinking art will be with us till the end. The so called, third world, has grown to act like we did. This is competition on every plane that makes us all more equal but exhausts the resources. Luckily these new contenders will insist on grabbing membership in making contemporary art. This puts a new kind of pressure on the available quality of existence and art making. All so interesting.
It seems to me that instead of losing a person and a role at the Frye like Robin, let's think of a new position that melds performance and presentation. Who could work between the roles of the dramaturg and the curator? A curaturg? Our world is changing, and so are roles of the people who help us interpret it. Let's think CURATURGY!
Duh-oh! i edited my "shaky ground/rudderles failure" comment but forgot to hit SAVE before I posted. My apologies folks. The Fry's inner workings are none of my business. Happy trails Robin. I hope the Fry continues to be a destination for great contemporary art.
Congratulations to Robin and Reel Grrls. Creative individuals need change to grow.
irony is dead. antonin artaud
Ironing is dead, too!