Museum and Curatorial Studies
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 2009-2010 Research Theme: Critical Curations

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Join date : 2010-01-03
Location : Santa Cruz, CA

PostSubject: 2009-2010 Research Theme: Critical Curations   Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:04 pm

From their birth in conjunction with the rise of the modern nation state, museums have been under scrutiny by artists, philosophers, public intellectuals, and everyday citizens. Even their precursors, the Early Modern Cabinets of Curiosities, were subtly critiqued by artists commissioned to paint the collections. In the twentieth century, several artists appropriated the role of the curator to denaturalize collection and display practices. The 1980s and early 1990s particularly witnessed an explosion of debates related to curatorial practice, particularly with the The Museum for African Art's Art/artifact exhibition, which demystified the ways objects are disciplined in galleries, or Fred Wilson's Mining the Museum, which brought forward hidden and often shameful parts of museum collections to critique institutional involvement in racial oppression. Today, as museums turn towards what is often referred to as the "new museology," curatorial practice remains under scrutiny, and yet too often curators rely on the traditional "white box" to avoid a political stance, or to maintain a self-effacing relationship to their own practices of framing, contextualizing, and disciplining objects. Click HERE to download the 2009-2010 Poster.

This year's research theme asks scholars to think critically about curation as a practice that is neither straightforward nor innocent. Readings and discussions will relate to any curatorial approaches which we might classify as "critical," such as interventions performed by artists, or new ideas attempted by individuals working with exhibitions. While informed by past iterations in museum history, we emphasize contemporary and emerging approaches to curation in the Speaker Series (Fall-Winter), the Graduate Seminar (Winter), and the Conference (Spring).
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