Yet as refreshing as the artwork was I couldn't help but feel like the museum context of the Barrio wasn't doing the artwork or the artists due justice. Removing the artwork from it's cultural context and making it available for larger cultural consumption might work for many forms of contemporary art which aren't rooted in deeper cultural traditions. But for artwork which is dependent on its use and circulation the museum context strips it of its vitality and imposes a specific and somewhat alien mode of experience.
What happens to cultural-rooted forms of art when they are removed from their original context, stripped of their symbolic use value, and observed only aesthetically? What purpose does the museum serve? Is is decentralizing the contemporary art playing field? Does that playing field mesh with the ambitions of its artists, art, and supported communities? How does cultural consumption legitimize groups, communities, neighborhoods? What is at risk?