Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Organisation and participation in conference
In current debates on museums and participatory exhibition experiences, the centre of attention is on the curatorial and the museological, and in regards to art museums, obviously on the participatory or relational potentials of the exhibited artworks and installations. Hence, it is time now to give attention to the relational aspects of museum architecture, in particular to exploring the relational field between the exhibited (art), the architecture, and the visitor, as well as the engagement or disengagement of museum architecture in exhibition experiences. In other words, we need to ask what museum architecture can do. Lina Bo Bardi, for instance, suggested that museums should present art “to awaken reactions of curiosity and investigation” (Bardi, 1997); a way of thinking she pursued in the architectural design and curatorial experiments of Museu de Arte de São Paulo. Sylvia Lavin has explored, from a theoretical point of entry, the museum encounter between architecture and other art forms as ‘kissing’ (Lavin, 2011). And, most recently, we have had the possibility of experiencing how the exhibition ‘A stroll through a fun palace’ at the Venice Biennale of Architecture involved the space, the exhibited projects and the visitors in a continuous creation of new situations (Swiss Pavilion by Obrist, Raza, Sehgal et al, 2014).
The question framing this symposium What can museum architecture do? suggests that museum architecture is indeed involved in the creation of exhibition experiences and encounters at the (art) museum. The symposium invites to explore how architecture is involved and involving; how it can be part of the materialities and contents of exhibitions; and how it creates affects and composes relations. Conjunctively, it invites to investigate the potential for creating material, spatial, and temporal encounters at museums. The symposium is aimed at researchers and practitioners working with museums as a site for architectural invention and experimentation.