254 pages, B/w figs
The last two decades have seen a proliferation of experiments with museological form. Museums and exhibitions have been established in many parts of the world, often interacting syncretically with existing cultural forms to produce novel versions of the museum idea. Museums and exhibitions are at the forefront of avant-garde architecture and design. New technologies - such as electronic media - have invaded exhibition space, transforming traditional strategies of display and exhibitionary potential. Conventional museological taxonomies - art and science, high and popular culture, representer and represented - have been disrupted, producing challenging new possibilities. Exhibition Experiments will probe some of these experiments and explore their motivations and effects. The collection samples a range of examples of experimentalism, from many different countries, and combines them with cutting-edge museum theory. Culling innovative exhibition and installation ideas from around the globe - Australia, Austria, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, Sweden, the UK and the US - and brashly challenging disciplinary boundaries (contributors are a mix of anthropologists, art historians and sociologists), Exhibition Experiments will chart the frontier of museum studies - the popularity and proliferation of museum experimentation, exhibitionary forms and their impact on knowledge and identity, the fate of conventional notions of 'object' and 'representation,' and the electrifying yet dizzying effect all of this is having on museum-goers.
A challenging and fascinating book that theorizes exhibitions as media for encounter, enactment, experience, and the creation rather than the transmission of knowledge. It opens up a whole new way of thinking about the potential of galleries and museums. Essential reading. Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, University of Leicester "This scintillating collection offers the most original treatment yet of experiment as an appealing, provoking ideology that has pulled together diverse critical approaches in the study of modern culture. An absorbing read all the way through." George Marcus, University of California, Irvine "This book combines stimulating essays by established scholars who have pioneered research into exhibitionary practice, with exciting and innovative chapters by younger scholars. It will be of equal relevance to museum professionals and the audiences who participate in the museum experience." Howard Morphy, Australian National University
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