Pop goes the weasel: styles of creative input to museum exhibitions

Matthews, Geoff (2009) Pop goes the weasel: styles of creative input to museum exhibitions. In: The go between: methodologies and taxonomies between museums, galleries, creative practice and learning, 9-11 September 2009, Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries.

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Abstract

The paper investigates how opportunities for artistic response arise in the design of museum exhibitions. A process of critical biography is used to reconstruct accounts of two projects undertaken between 1995 and 1998 by Neal Potter, the world-renowned designer of cultural exhibitions.
Potter’s concept for the Atrium of the Earth Galleries at the Natural History Museum, London, is presented as an installation concept realized through an industrial process akin to a major theatrical production. As creative director of the ‘Walk Through the 20th Century’ exhibition at the Cultural Centre of Belém, Lisbon, for the 100-day festival preceding Expo ’98, Potter created two original art works, one of which subsequently became a formal museum acquisition. One can be interpreted as a direct response to a perceived gap in the narrative, the other as an emotional and aesthetic response to a current event.

These cases allow us to question some of the institutional categories and creative stereotypes that generally underpin the organization and execution of museum exhibition projects. I suggest that the ‘visualizer,’ ‘interpreter,’ and ‘storyteller’ roles that artists may adopt are far from prosaic and at least as useful as those of ‘mediator,’ ‘provocateur,’ ‘informant’ and ‘fantasist.’

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords:exhibition design, museum studies, Expo 98, Neal Potter, exhibitions
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K120 Interior Architecture
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V370 History of Design
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Architecture
ID Code:2110
Deposited By: Geoff Matthews
Deposited On:08 Jan 2010 11:25
Last Modified:05 Dec 2013 10:09

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