Sunday 24 January 2021

Untitled Blog Post

In 2017 Dutch art institute Witte de With decided to initiate a procedure with the intention of changing its name. The motivations for this change are described on the institute's website: 'The criteria for changing the institution's name is founded on two counts. First, the current name indicates the institution's location, but does not express the institution's vocation, which is to present contemporary art and theory. Secondly, the current name impinges upon the institution's pursuit of inclusivity, which is vital to the relevance and contribution of cultural practice in general.'
Which is all fair enough. Names have referents and what one decides to name things therefore has consequences on how it is perceived. If they feel that the name doesn't reflect the values of the organisation, then it would make sense that they should want to change the name.
The new name they have settled on is 'Melly', referencing an artwork displayed on the side of the building which states that 'Melly Shum hates her job'. 
It's thus unfortunate that when one now searches for 'Melly' on the internet, it isn't until the third page that a single link to the institute shows up. The rest of the results mostly consist of stories about African American rapper YNW Melly, who is currently incarcerated and awaiting trial for two counts of murder.

Update on 18/10/2021: Melly, the art institute, is now the first result when one searches for 'Melly' on various search engines, with links concerning YNW Melly and the institute compromising the rest of the first pages of results.