Since the night that Betty Boop was locked inside a museum (Betty Boop’s Museum, 1932) and the skeletons came to life and began to dance more violently than their old bones could have imagined - causing night watchman Ben Stiller to dream about them 74 years later (Night at the Museum, 2006), museums have been subject to numerous attempts to reactivate them and involve them in temporary media like film and video. When a video enters a museum - as an exhibition piece or the implement of some spy - the eternity of the space tends to give way to the fast cuts, fugues in real time and alternative chronologies found in audiovisual works, whether they are a product of Hollywood or come from the art world.
The way in which videos brings night to the museum is both literal (because of the darkness of the rooms where they are shown) and metaphorical (as a carnival-type space-time that opens up new possibilities for inhabiting and experimenting with culture). The fate of video is to become part of the museum and transform it at the same time. The never-ending attempt to go beyond the museum is what unites Night at the Museum (or what Betty Boop saw), a compilation designed to take a whirl around the museum as a physical place and an area for established protocols. Beginning with the museum as a historical institution (Marton & Larré, Patricia Esquivias, Asli Cavusoglu), it extends into public sculpture (Otto Berchem’s sketches and Juozas Laivys’ poetic exorcisms), historical-film monuments and sites taken from paintings (Sislej Xhafa’s skinheads in the Trevi Fountain and Laurel Nakadate’s dance in front of the American Gothic house), the aseptic exhibition hall and its rituals (Adriana Lara), the museum as a system of order and discipline (Francisco Camacho), the museum as a commercial enterprise (Hubert Czerepok and Steve Rushton, Omer Krieger) and the museum visit as established cultural protocol (Mario García Torres).
The resignification of museum culture and the possible misuse of works and discourses, codes and stages are methods used by the artists invited to this series. Almost all the videos have a strong performative element and some were filmed in museums in which they will never be screened.