Post Critical Museology
Theory and Practice in the Art Museum
Routledge – 2013 – 278 pages
Post-Critical Museology considers what the role of the public and the experience of audiences means to the everyday work of the art museum. It does this from the perspectives of the art museum itself as well as from the visitors it seeks. Through the analysis of material gathered from a major collaborative research project carried out at Tate Britain in London the book develops a conceptual reconfiguration of the relationship between art, culture and society in which questions about the art museum’s relationship to global migration and the new media ecologies are examined. It suggests that whilst European museums have previously been studied as institutions of collection, heritage and tradition, however ‘modern’ their focus, it is now better to consider them as distributive networks in which value travels along transmedial and transcultural lines.
Post-Critical Museology is intended as a contribution to progressive museological thinking and practice and calls for a new alignment of academics and professionals in what it announces as post-critical museology. An alignment that is committed to rethinking what an art museum in the twenty-first century could be, as well as what knowledge and understanding its future practitioners might draw upon in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The book aims to be essential reading in the growing field of museum studies. It will also be of professional interest to all those working in the cultural sphere, including museum professionals, policy makers and art managers.
Part 1: Practices of Exhibition Practices 1. Practices of Objects 2. Identity and Difference 3. The Organizational Body 4. Practices of Audience and the Limits of Gallery Education Part 2: Practices of Collection and Display: The National Collection of British Art 5. Identity, Diasporic Narratives and Spectatorship 6. Canonical Practices, Modernism and Globalization 7. The Space of the Museum 8. Media Practices and the Museum Part 3: Post-Critical Museology 9. Research Practices and Policy Formation 10. Critical and Historical practices: The Academy and the Art Museum 11. Reflexive Positions and Institutional Conditions Part 4: Critical Audience 12. The Distributed Museum 13. Productive Practices
Andrew Dewdney is a professor of educational development at London South Bank University, and has been the Principal Investigator and Director of the Tate Encounters project, Head of the School of Film and Photography at Newport College of Art, and Director of Exhibition and Photography at the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol. His teaching focuses upon new media and visual culture, is co-author (with Peter Ride) of The New Media Handbook (Routledge, 2006).
David Dibosa is Course Director for MA Art Theory at Chelsea College of Art and Design in the University of the Arts London. His published work focuses on visual art and cultural difference, and includes ‘Cultural Diversity: politics, policy and practices. The Case of Tate Encounters’, with Andrew Dewdney and Victoria Walsh, in the edited collection, Museums, Equality and Social Justice (Routledge, 2012).
Victoria Walsh has worked in various senior research, curatorial and project management roles at Tate since 1994 and was Head of Adult Programmes at Tate Britain from 2005-11, as well as her work as an independent curator and consultant in the fields of Visual Arts and Architecture. Trained as an art historian, she holds various research and teaching positions within the UK and abroad and has published a number of titles on post-war British art.