Artist-led curatorial practice: mediating knowledge, experience and opinion

Tracy Mackenna, Edwin Janssen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Chapter considers our roles as artists and educators whose engagement with museums takes multiple forms; visitors, exhibitors, artists commissioned to explore collections and institutions. Demonstrates involvement through series of actions that lead to artifacts’ re-contextualisation, and new proposals for their organization as a starting point to broker connections with expanded audiences, in partnership with (international) museums. A progressive approach to curation develops visible alternative narrative or interpretation of exhibit or collection by changing interpretation and uses of space, engaging technologies and ephemeral forms of display, where work evolves in public over long periods, offering viewer and participant many points of access and re-access, significantly opening up the making process that in a standard museum context is closed off. Proposed as a prototype, this art practice offers institutions the possibility of promoting exchange and collaboration between disciplines, institutions and people. For the art college, it proposes expanding the sites and contexts for learning, permitting the artist to become an inter-institutional mediator and cultural agent, enabling students to connect with and reflect on the world beyond their own private creative space by improving their understanding of the forces at play when considering museum politics, and the museum as a key site for presenting and creating cultural narratives (Hooper-Greenhill 2006). As artists in HE we propose a public ‘cultural recycling’ through art practice, whereby not only appropriate objects, artifacts or existing images are presented but where the creation of environments in which works can be given new meaning can lead to transformative experiences, through the sharing of knowledge. New models embracing different forms of value are urged; predicated upon the benefits of exchanges that arise out of trust, generated through intensity of engagement, commitment to knowledge in the making, and sharing – a resistant move against the fetish value of the object (Esche 2007).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMuseums and Higher Education Working Together: Challenges and Opportunities
    EditorsAnne Boddington, Jos Boys, Catherine Speight
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Print)9781409448761
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


    • museums
    • artist-led
    • mediating


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