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Exhibition Experiments

Sharon Macdonald (Editor), Paul Basu (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-69536-4
272 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Exhibition Experiments (0470695366) cover image
Exhibition Experiments is a lively collection that considers experiments with museological form that challenge our understanding of - and experience with - museums.

  • Explores examples of museum experimentalism in light of cutting-edge museum theory
  • Draws on a range of global and topical examples, including museum experimentation, exhibitionary forms, the fate of conventional notions of ‘object’ and ‘representation’, and the impact of these changes
  • Brings together an international group of art historians, anthropologists, and sociologists to question traditional disciplinary boundaries
  • Considers the impact of technology on the museum space
    tackles a range of examples of experimentalism from many different countries, including Australia, Austria, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, Sweden, the UK and the US
  • Examines the changes and challenging new possibilities facing museum studies
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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 Sidén’s WARTE MAL!, Art History and Social Documentary.

A seminar with Laura Bear, Clare Carolin, Griselda Pollock and Ann-Sofi Sidén. 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 Färber

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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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  • Explores examples of museum experimentalism in light of cutting-edge museum theory
  • Draws on a range of global and topical examples, including museum experimentation, exhibitionary forms, the fate of conventional notions of ‘object’ and ‘representation’, and the impact of these changes
  • Brings together an international group of art historians, anthropologists, and
    sociologists to question traditional disciplinary boundaries
  • Considers the impact of technology on the museum space
    tackles a range of examples of experimentalism from many different countries, including Australia, Austria, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, Sweden, the UK and the US
  • Examines the changes and challenging new possibilities facing museum studies
See More
“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 <!--end-->

“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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