Thursday, May 28, 2009

Anthropology Meets Museology

by Sarah Crocker

As fascinated as I am in the technical and artistic aspects of this exhibit, such as the photography, databases, and blogging, I'm more interested in the museum guests that will be visiting this exhibition. Museum at Work is certainly different from many art exhibits, or at least from many individuals' conceptions of what an art exhibit should be. Instead of a static collection of pieces that will remain on display for weeks at a time, this exhibit will feature an ever-changing array of works and a near-constant presence of volunteers and interns.

This situation presents an opportunity for visitors to interact with the volunteers and directed study students involved in the project. They will be able to ask questions about the art and the process of documenting it, draw their own conclusions, and hopefully gain new viewpoints and interests in CAM and contemporary art in general. This would be a golden opportunity for us to consider the relationships among workers, museum guests, and the museum environment itself by asking questions such as, "What causes someone to reflect upon art?" "How does an art museum operate behind the scenes?" "What can we do to encourage a visitor's reflection and critical thought regarding these pieces?" Hopefully, we will be able to answer these and many other questions throughout the course of this exhibition.

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