Click! Power to the People

Is the public the best critic? We know that curators, commentators, and other cultural taste-makers are often at odds with what the people want. (Just take a look at movie box-office sales numbers compared to, say, film reviews on rottentomatoes.com.) But what happens when the public gets to choose the visual work in a major museum exhibition?

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Photograph © Tom Callan

Is the public the best critic? We know that curators, commentators, and other cultural taste-makers are often at odds with what the people want. (Just take a look at movie box-office sales numbers compared to, say, film reviews on rottentomatoes.com.) But what happens when the public gets to choose the visual work in a major museum exhibition?

That's the question posed and answered by Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition, which opens today at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. This grand photo show — of the people, by the people, and for the people — was created in three phases.

First, photographers were asked to electronically submit photographs based on the theme of "Changing Faces of Brooklyn," along with an artist's statement. This open call took place last March. Then the work was anonymously evaluated in an online forum — also open to the public, but with each visiting judge asked "a series of questions about his/her knowledge of art and perceived expertise," according to organizer Shelley Bernstein of the BMA. You can check out and comment on the judging results at the Click! website.