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Title: How did the reticent object become so obliging? : artists' interventions as interpretive strategies in galleries and museums
Author: Robins, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 8388
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2010
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This is a study about knowledge/power in galleries and museums, contested and reconfigured by a genre of artworks, referred to as Artists' Interventions. Such artworks, their intended functions, and pedagogic uses are the locus of the study. I define galleries and museums as inherently pedagogic institutions, which have historically constructed and disseminated dominant systems of value. In order to examine in what ways these values have been reconfigured through Artists' Interventions, I undertake a historiography of the role of the gallery and museum. In defining interventions, I differentiate between interventionist artworks that disrupt and contest the 'normative' or dominant discourse of galleries and museums, and artworks that support and confirm established interpretations of art and artefacts, and focus attention on the former. I propose art-historical predecessors for Artists' Interventions and situate contemporary initiatives in relation to disruptive, dialogic and parodic methodologies. These are more closely examined in a central case study, a practice-based aspect of the thesis in which I make my own intervention, An Elite Experience for Everyone, performed and exhibited at the William Morris Gallery, London (2005). Where Artists' Interventions have emerged against a backdrop of dominant regulatory and divisionary discourse their disruptive and parodic strategies re-establish the museum as a discursive forum. However, the trope of disruption and dialogue has recently been accommodated within curatorial and pedagogic initiatives. Only the trickster is allowed to evade this assimilation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available