Lecture series: Voices in (and around) the Museum

Voices in (and around) the Museum is a series of four discursive events co-organised by the UCL Mellon Programme and UCL Centre for Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies.

Wednesdays, 6pm (May 4, 11, 18, 25, 2011)
University College London

From being perceived as a collective resting place for mute objects and a silent, ocular-centric space to showcase them, the museum is increasingly called upon to account for the voices in its midst. Objects are now widely understood to tell stories, speaking in different ways to different constituencies. In turn, the voices of visitors, source communities, curators, collectors and makers – whether in the form of reminiscence,testimony, storytelling, myth or song – play an increasingly prominent role in determining the museum’s approach to knowledge production and dissemination.

This series of oral interventions – by architects, artists, curators,historians, musicians, theorists, and writers – aims to understand how the voices emanating from objects and subjects in the museum impact the institution’s traditional remit of researching, collecting and displaying objects. How do these voices condition the visitor’s affective and sensory experience? How do the narratives told by the museum through objects change over time? Which voices have been suppressed, and why? What can museums do to preserve the immaterial traces of the voice? And what new technologies and outreach strategies will be required to listen to and broadcast voices both in and outside of the museum?

Speakers include:

Sarah Byrne (UCL Mellon Prgramme)
Debbie Challis (UCL Museums and Collections)
Emma Poulter (British Museum)
David Toop (London College of Communication)
Colin Fournier (UCL Bartlett School of Architecture)
Marysia Lewandowska (Konstfack, Sweden)
Sarah Lowry (Foundling Museum, London)
Steve Cross (UCL Public Engagement Unit)
Toby Butler (University of East London)
Paul Elliman (Yale School of Art)
Seph Rodney (The London Consortium)
Imogen Stidworthy (Jan van Eyck Academy, Naastricht)
Jack Maynard (Tate)
Linda Sandino (V&A and UAL)
Susan Hawkins (Kingston University London)
Hillary Young (Museum of London)

For more information
visit: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/mellon-program/events/voices


2 thoughts on “Lecture series: Voices in (and around) the Museum

    • I think Van Eyck’s portraits are some of the best when considering narratives of the sitters and their chosen environs as well as the painter’s own intentions of how to portray the subjects. Why I find something like the Arnolfini Wedding Portrait so interesting is the subjects are so hauntingly unforgettable and unique-looking – Van Eyck really allows a real sense of subjectivity to them and of course, his attention to detail is also very telling. Not only is this an excellent record of a perhaps typical Flemish merchant’s wedding and home interior but also of Flemish attire during that time. Dress is not only important in Flanders during the Northern Renaissance but has always been important for many cultures throughout history. One only has to look at Prince William and Kate’s royal wedding – the media has been having a field day with what everyone is wearing with probably more coverage devoted to clothing than any other part of the event.

      Thanks for the comment!

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