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Issue 12

Reinterpreting collections

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Nowadays we can observe clear changes in relation to working with collections. One change is the comeback of the collection as the basis of the exhibition programme. At the same time, this implies a factor of site-specificity and reflects the origin of the museum. However, even if the collection is creatively varied, the core audience still prefers event exhibitions, since it has been trained to look for well-known names. By trusting in familiar names, visitors perhaps hope not to be disappointed.

What is the significance of the collection nowadays, and how can audience interest be won? The insight into some successful and some criticized projects, each irradiating the theme from another perspective, enables us to make up our mind about concepts for curatorial work on collections. In this issue of On-Curating.org, our aim was to find out what possibilities there are for drawing new attention to the collection from visitors, artists, and curators: not only to its highlights, but to the collection as a whole, and to its history. This issue also explores which contexts can trigger new interpretations of old works, and methods of affecting museum structures from the outside so that they are less likely to fossilize.