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Evoluon 2 (crop 1)

Evoluon, Eindhoven, 1968

Evoluon, Eindhoven, 1968

Science and technology exhibition, Evoluon, Eindhoven, 1968
UoB Design Archives

Evoluon 2 (crop 1)
Britain Can Make It 1 (crop 1)

Mural in the Furnished Room, Britain Can Make It, V&A, London, 1946
UoB Design Archives

Britain Can Make It 1 (crop 1)
Taiwan 1 (crop 1)

Sketch of exhibition layout,
National Museum of Natural Science, Taiwan, 1986-88
UoB Design Archives

Taiwan 1 (crop 1)
Britain Can Make It 2 (crop 1)

Tea Bar, Britain Can Make It, V&A, London, 1946
UoB Design Archives

Britain Can Make It 2 (crop 1)
Taiwan 2 (crop 1)

Interior view,
National Museum of Natural Science, Taiwan, 1986-88
UoB Design Archives

Taiwan 2 (crop 1)
Exhibition 1

Construction of exhibition space,
Britain Can Make It, V&A, London, 1946
UoB Design Archives

Exhibition 1
Taiwan 3 (crop 1)

Interior view,
National Museum of Natural Science, Taiwan, 1986-88
UoB Design Archives

Taiwan 3 (crop 1)
B&BwFord

President Ford, Robert Staples, and Barbara Fahs Charles
with model of the "Levitating White House," for the Ford Museum, 1980
Staples & Charles

B&BwFord
Francisco 2 059

Sketch of Australia section,
Commonwealth Institute, London, c. 1961
UoB Design Archives

Francisco 2 059
Festival of Britain 2 (crop 1)

Fashions Hall, Britain Can Make It, V&A, London, 1946
UoB Design Archives

Festival of Britain 2 (crop 1)
Evoluon 1 (crop 1)

Gallery view of The Senster,
Evoluon, Eindhoven, 1968
UoB Design Archives

Evoluon 1 (crop 1)
PhotographyandtheCityinstallSI19681

Installation view, Photography and the City,
Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 1968
Staples & Charles

PhotographyandtheCityinstallSI19681
Evoluon 3 (crop 1)

General view
Evoluon, Eindhoven, 1968
UoB Design Archives

Evoluon 3 (crop 1)
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Audience response to First Peoples exhibition

 

Kayte McSweeney
 Kayte McSweeney
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

Dear Andrea, Thanks for a great talk - so much of what you said really got me thinking. But I will focus on my question re the audiences at the First Peoples exhibition at the Bunjilaka Gallery. I keep coming back to the idea of 'deliberate slowness' as a narrative and design concept [though you put it far more eloquently]. Do you know if any evaluation/consultation was done with visitors who went to the exhibition? How did audiences respond to this exhibition  - was it a slower more deliberate experience/engagement; did they report feeling emotional, reflective, immersed and in what ways; was this uncomfortable [and maybe unexpected] for some visitors and if it was did they lean in to or push back against this discomfort; and were people interested in the co-curation process [the behind the scenes partnership working] or was it an expectation that an exhibition of this nature, at that cultural centre, would be done in collaboration? Sorry that's many questions but am interested in how audiences respond to this very emotive and first-person driven exhibition. Thanks


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Andrea Witcomb
 Andrea Witcomb
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 7
 

Dear Kayte

thanks very much for your question. Kayte, Museums Victoria which is the head organisation to which Melbourne Museum belongs has an audience studies department. They will have done audience research on the exhibition but I am afraid i haven't read it so unfortunately i can't answer your questions! I am so sorry, because they are fantastic questions.

However, the Museum has done a number of exhibitions which explicitly attempt to work with emotions to shape the visitor experience to structure the narrative they want to produce. it is very conscious - they will have maps of their exhibition that trace the various emotional points as visitors move through for example. They are very much thinking of the visitor experience in relation to the difficult themes they want them to engage with. I am going to point you to another exhibition done by Museums Victoria, this time at the Migration Museum also in Melbourne called Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours. It is another exhibition i have also written about which also uses deliberate slowness to create a space in which what appears to be looking at 'an other' turns out to be looking at one self - individually and collectively. The reason I am pointing you in this direction is that Laurajane Smith wrote a piece based on her surveys of a number of museums - it turns out that this museum was different from the others in that it did not antagonise its audiences as much as others who were trying to change peoples minds. While Laurajane doesn't analyse the exhibition itself, I would venture that it is the exhibition's use of exactly the same kind of techniques as the First People's exhibitions that creates that more open response. I was part of a small study of this exhibition at the Migration Museum with an Education Scholar, Dianne Mulcahy which did analyse student responses to the exhibition. There we analysed both their embodied behaviours and what they said which reflected a slow thinking through in which they move from their initial affective response to a deeper thinking. Here are the references in case you are interested to both pieces. Philipp Schorch has also written about this exhibition, so between us all you may get some answers to the general points you are raising, even if they are not discussing this particular exhibition.

  1. Mulcahy, D. and Witcomb, A. (2018c). “Affective practices of learning at the museum: children’s critical encounters with the past” in Laurajane Smith, Margaret Wetherell and Gary Campbell (eds.) Emotion, Affective Practices and the Past in the Present, London: Routledge.
  2. Smith, L 2016, 'Changing Views? Emotional Intelligence, Registers of Engagement and the Museum Visit', in Viviane Gosselin, Phaedra Livingstone (ed.), Museums and the Past - Constructing Historical Consciousness, UBC Press, Toronto Vancouver, pp. 101-121.
  3. Schorch, P. (2015). Experiencing differences and negotiating prejudices at the Immigration Museum Melbourne. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21 (1), 46-64.

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