It is only right at the end of his book that Fernando Domínguez Rubio makes clear the underlying polemical reason for writing his book. Is it really worth the simply gigantic financial and ecological cost to preserve so many works of contemporary art in the store rooms of the Museum of Modern Art when so many of them will seldom or never be seen ?
He outlines the growth in the collection as more and more is acquired which is less and less easy to preserve in its pristine condition, like old ladies kept in the freezer after their death. What’s it all for ? Sometimes it’s made to seem a vanity project with fundamental, but essentially unfathomable purposes, as objects are locked away for eternity not in Manhattan, but Queen’s.
It’s certainly a set of questions worth asking and when you read of the amount of skill and energy which goes into preservation, the project of modernism and its apparatus in museums is made to seem psychologically and ethnographically strange.