The Forum // Zoé Samudzi and Nicholas Mirzoeff

The Lab is a non-profit organization in San Francisco that is focused on supporting artists and bringing communities together to discuss the arts. The ongoing series, The Forum, creates a space for artists and thinkers to discuss the most pressing issues of our time. For this session, The Lab hosted Nicholas Mirzoeff, an activist, professor and theorist of Visual Culture at New York University, along with Zoé Samudzi, a doctoral candidate in Medical Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco. Together, Mirzoeff and Samudzi discuss the ethical, educational, and aesthetic responsibilities of museums in the age of falling colonial monuments and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“What I think is so unnerving about museums is this sense of a forced eternality. That it forces things to last forever when things are not supposed to last forever . . . When I think about museums, all I think about is this anxiety about civilizational collapse.” - Zoé Samudzi