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Exhibition Experiments

Edited By: S Macdonald and P Baru

254 pages, B/w figs


Paperback | Apr 2007 | #156066 | ISBN-13: 9781405130776
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About this book

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


Table of Contents 1. Experiments in Exhibition, Ethnography, Art and Science Paul Basu and Sharon Macdonald 2. Legibility and Affect: Museums as New Media Michelle Henning 3. The Labrynthine Aesthetic in Contemporary Museum Design Paul Basu 4. Exhibition as Film Mieke Bal 5. Experimenting with Representation: Iconoclash! and Making Things Public Peter Weibel and Bruno Latour 6. Walking on a Story Board, Performing Shared Incompetence. Exhibiting "Science" in the Public Realm Xperiment! - Bernd Kraeftner, Judith Kroell, and Isabel Warner 7. From Capital to Enthusiasm: an Exhibitionary Practice Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska 8. The Politics of Display. Ann-Sofi Siden's WARTE MAL!, Art History and Social Documentary A seminar with Laura Bear, Clare Carolin, Griselda Pollock and Ann-Sofi Siden. Edited by Clare Carolin and Cathy Haynes 9. From Exhibiting to Installing Ethnography: Experiments at the Museum of Anthropology of the University of Coimbra (Portugal) 1999-2005 Nuno Porto 10. Raising Specters: Welcoming Hybrid Phantoms at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry Anne Lorimer 11. Exposing Expo: exhibition entrepreneurship and experimental reflexivity in late modernity Alexa Farber

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Sharon Macdonald is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. She is author of Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum (2002), and editor of A Companion to Museum Studies (Blackwell 2006) and Theorizing Museums (with G. Fyfe, Blackwell 1996). Paul Basu is Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Sussex. An active exhibition experimenter, he is author of Highland Homecomings (2007).
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