Museum Effect: Gazing from Object to Performance in the Contemporary Cultural-History Museum  Cover Image
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Музейният ефект: погледът от обект към представление в съвременния културно-исторически музей
Museum Effect: Gazing from Object to Performance in the Contemporary Cultural-History Museum

Author(s): Valerie Casey
Subject(s): Cultural history
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: Analysis of the evolution of museum practices in terms of Lacan’s concept of the Gaze demonstrates how processes of display in the cultural-history museum produce cultural knowledge. This paper offers a theoretical model of the visitor-object relationship as a means to establish the museum visitor and museal object in dynamic interconnected roles. Their respective positions are evaluated in terms of the changing modes of museum practice, which comprise three typologies: the legislating museum, the interpreting museum, and the performing museum. While these categories overlap, they also appear in historical chronology, where the modern art museum of the early 19th century is the “legislating” type, the pedagogically focused museum of post-WWII represents the “interpretive” mode, and the contemporary livinghistory museum is classified as “performing.” Analysis of the social issues around these museum practices informs the development of relevant and meaningful interactive technologies for visitors in the contemporary museum. This research has focused on Western cultural-history museums, often specifically American museums. The applicability of this theory of the viewer to museums outside the U.S. is the subject of current research.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 44-50
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Bulgarian