marți, 8 februarie 2011

CONF: The Museum as laboratory, catalist, forum

International Symposium

The "Principle of the Museum"

The Museum as laboratory, catalyst, forum
University of Bonn

February 11-12, 2011

"The museum might indeed become a place of interdisciplinary activity." -

Joseph Beuys (1980)

In times of changing demands, shifting challenges and high expectations

faced by universities and museums, experts will try to take stock of the

current situation in Bonn on 11–12 February 2011. In a comparative approach

between the concepts of "the museum of art" and / vs. "the museum of

cultures", the different actors and disciplines will question their own ways

to analyse and perform theory and practice of collecting and exhibiting.

As suspected by Joseph Beuys, "the museum" is supposed to become a place for

"a permanent conference". Our purpose is to reflect the museum's roles,

functions and practice in a shared self-questioning of all involved agents

and actors, i.e. scholars, managers and consumers. Beyond discussions about

a "boom", "reform" or "crisis of museums", the focus of our symposium is on

the present situation: in particular the collaboration of the art histories

of the museums and of the universities, the histories of culture,

ethnographies and ethnologies as well as museology and museum practice,

which become increasingly alienated from each other, deserve our interest.

The role and functions of the museum and the university, as well as their

manner of interaction, have to be redefined in the current shift of

challenges and expectations. The scientific cartography and the social

determinations / functions of the museum need to be revised, for example in

terms of education, training and "edutainment". While museum studies

experience a boom, in particular within the field of cultural sciences, and

history of art becomes increasingly involved in the history of museums and

collection - in a kind of trendy "museological turn" - the real museum

scene suffers from drastic watersheds and changes.

Museums, modernity, history of art and ethnology evolved both materially and

epistemologically in simultaneous and complex mutual interdependencies.

Museums are eminent "agencies of modernity" reflecting the social status and

the roles of art and sciences of their time. Within the context of the

present revision of traditional paradigms of western thinking and of the

upcoming reorganisation of our cartographies of knowledge, museum displays

and performances can be regarded as a catalyst for a theory of science and

society – and their practice. Challenges, functions and perspectives of

one’s own thinking and actions have to be reconsidered. This specifically

affects the disciplines of history of art and ethnology, since they are

agents of the indigenisation and commercialisation of their objects and

subjects. In Bonn, both protagonists and representatives of production,

distribution and reception of matters of "art and culture" will work

together to draw a current balance and to develop new perspectives.

The symposium will be held in German and English.

It is free and public.

Organized by Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie Bonnet, Prof. Dr. Karoline Noack, Prof.

Dr. Paul Geyer


Jana Baumann M.A.

Research Project 'Prinzip Museum'

Department of History of Art, University of Bonn