Baker, Daniel Alexander
Between 1768 and 1780 Captain James Cook led three epic voyages from Britain into the Pacific Ocean, where he and his fellow explorers- artists, naturalists, philosophers and sailors, were to encounter societies and cultures of extraordinary diversity. These 18th Century South Pacific encounters were rich with performance, trade and exchange; but they would lead to the dramatic and violent transformation of the region through colonisation, settlement, exploitation and disease. Since those initial encounters, museums in Britain have become home to the images and artefacts produced and collected in the South Pacific; and they are now primary sites for the representation of the original voyages and their legacies. This representation most often takes the form of exhibitions and displays that in turn choreograph and produce new encounters with the past, in the present. Drawing on Alfred Gell's term 'technologies of enchantment' my practice reconceives the structures of exhibitions as 'technologies of encounter': exploring how they might be reconfigured to produce new kinds of encounter. Through reflexive practice I critically engage with museums as sites of encounters, whilst re-imagining the exhibition as a creative form. The research submission takes the form of an exhibition: an archive of materials from the practice, interwoven with a reflective dialogue in text. The thesis progresses through a series of exhibition encounters, each of which explores a different approach to technologies of encounter, from surrealist collage (Cannibal Dog Museum) and critical reflexivity (The Hidden Hand), to a conversational mode (Modernity's Candle and the Ways of the Pathless Deep).
Century city : art and culture in the modern metropolis : a case-study of institutional curating of contemporary art in an urban contextBaniotopolou, Evdoxia January 2010 (has links)
My thesis is an interpretive case study of the exhibition Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis (Tate Modern, 1 February – 29 April 2001). It examines a variety of issues pertaining to the making of institutional modern and contemporary art exhibitions in a Western urban context today. It is concerned with exhibition studies’ methodology, the reciprocity between the art institution and the city, and the relationship between the art institution and the independent curator. With regards to methodology, I propose various readings of an exhibition that fall under two types of knowledge, namely visible and invisible knowledge. The former refers to all aspects of the exhibition that are seen in the public domain, while the latter considers not immediately accessible information about the exhibition, such as archival material and oral history. I also examine the mutual relationship between the city and the institution through the instrumentalization of the exhibition by city politics, and the correlative micro and macro effects. I thus link the exhibition to a passage from an industrial to a post-industrial economy, New Labour politics and the competition of cities in a worldwide urban network. Within that framework I analyse associated issues, such as London’s urban regeneration and cultural tourism, city branding, changing city demographics, the link between the institution, the city and governmental agendas, and the ‘world city’ race. Finally, I question the changing relationship between the art institution and the independent curator. I reflect on the advantages and limitations of curatorial practice in the context of that relationship by considering the exhibition as a platform for the concurrent expression of both personal and collective curatorial interests, and the exploration of canonical versus contemporary approaches. I conclude that an in-depth study of a contemporary exhibition on these grounds allows for important insights to be gained that contribute to the fields of curatorial and exhibition studies, as well as to urban theory.
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