Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Reworking the archive: Experimental arts, memory and imagination

Reworking the archive: Experimental arts, memory and imagination.
By Katherine Moline and Jacqueline Clayton
Onkar Kular, Noam Toran and Keith Jones, Lego farm, 2010
Photo: Diego Trujillo
 Abstract Over the past 50 years institutional critique has become a part of the contemporary programming of museum exhibitions produced by practitioners in design, craft and visual art. Challenges and critiques of orthodoxies in museology have developed in response to changing social practices. This paper considers two site-specific installations, I cling to virtue (2010) by Onkar Kular, Noam Toran and Keith R. Jones at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and Pleased to meet you: introductions by Gwynn Hanssen Pigott (2012–2013) at the Museum of Anthropology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Both works invited visitors to engage with the artists’ invented arrangements and to attend to subjective responses as authoritative readings of museum display. In other words, they questioned institutionally directed interpretation and brought key aspects of globalisation into view. This paper first describes the installations, then places them within the framework of globalisation and the social imaginary proposed by Arjun Appadurai and Cornelius Castoriades. It discusses concepts of the heterogeneity of globalisation within the framework of the social imaginary evoked in the installations and analyses the works in these terms. The replaying of historical material in these works, we contend, questions the negative implications of globalisation. Further, the definition of interdisciplinarity framed by the social imaginary provides fertile ground for reconceptualising specialisation. When seen within the social imaginary, the experimental approach to curatorial and exhibition norms exemplified by the two installations provides intriguing models for intervening in the archives and histories of design, craft and visual art. Read full paper

Full paper published in craft+design enquiry:  Issue 6 2014, Craft.Material.Memory

experimental design, craft, archive, memory,  museology, globalisation

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