Ignorant Intimacy: Experiencing Private Materials in an Academic Setting
Acting as a scholar one can gain access to boxes upon boxes of information that was at one time restricted. With little effort one can find many personal and private materials stored in the archives here at Yale. Once top-secret documents can be found along with diaries, personal notebooks, love letters and family photos. These are all private objects made accessible on a small scale to at least the Yale student body and other curious academics. In some cases these once private materials are digitized and thus may even be available to the public as a whole.
The intentions of an artist/writer for their work and how that affects the audience’s perspective is a topic that was raised many times over within the context of our class and the works we were exploring. That there are certain objects saved in archives and collections, or perhaps displayed in museums for the public, for which it can be argued that the creator of the object never intended others to see. This raises some of the following questions which this exhibit will explore through the lense of some of the materials/objects seen over the course of this class:
In a quest to have knowledge out in the open and available are we crossing privacy boundaries? We as scholars have a fear of censorship and rightly so. Is it however possible that we are facilitating an ignorant intimacy with objects that are personal and private (whether to a single person or an entire culture or religion) in the name of freedom? And if so, is this wrong?