Changing the power dynamics of exhibition development

Sorry to overwhelm the blog this weekend; but I wanted to share with everyone an exhibit that is currently going on at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology called ‘Imagine Africa’. This exhibition project has put a blank sheet of paper out there for visitors to determine what is in the exhibition (from the museum’s collection), and how it is interpreted, thus reversing the traditional power dynamics of museums. Is this the way that all museums will operate in the future? 

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One Response to Changing the power dynamics of exhibition development

  1. Drew Ward says:

    I think an exhibit like this would be interesting if it contained two components. [1] The exhibition’s topic through the eyes of the patrons, and [2] the topic presented strictly by the museum staff. It would be interesting to see the discrepancies and similarities between the two presentations. However, I do not think that exhibits solely based on the patrons’ perspective will not entirely engulf the process of creating an exhibit. While the notion of shared authority is a theoretical basis for many exhibits, I believe an overabundance of exhibitions such as this could potentially alter the aura of authenticity that many museums wish to create.

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