At Rubin Museum, Ignorance Is Not Bliss

But it does make for excellent fodder for discussions, film screenings, “interactive experiences,” and more thought-provoking happenings at New York’s Rubin Museum of Art. The reliably innovative cultural hub, the only museum in the United States dedicated to the Himalayan region, is now putting the finishing touches on “The Ignorance Series,” a fresh line-up of public programs that will explore how the unknown permeates our lives and impacts our perceptions of the world—at a time when it seems as if every answer is just a smartphone Google search away.

“The quest for enlightenment is at the core of Tibetan teachings and is reflected throughout the material culture of the region. By attaining this ultimate awareness, we are able to combat the consequences of ignorance, a state of being that prevents us from looking beyond ourselves and connecting with the world as it actually exists,” said Tim McHenry, director of public programs at the Rubin Museum. “In today’s digital society, there is both a universal hunger for immediate information and a deeper sense of understanding. The Ignorance series approaches this shared desire from a multitude of angles and aims to scratch away the layers of complexity in our journey to gaining knowledge.”

Among the highly anticipated program highlights: Alec Baldwin and playwright Neil LaBute on ignorance in the information age (Twitter will be mentioned early and often), Laurie Anderson and Neil Gaiman examining the delicate line between fantasy and fact, and strong>Joel Grey exploring willful cultural complicity in Germany in his introduction to a screening of Cabaret. The museum will also be saying “Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome” to guests such as director Mira Nair, infographic specialist Gareth Cook, and cartoonist and essayist Tim Kreider. The series kicks off in September and tickets will go on sale later this month.