Critical practice: Artists, museums, ethics

Janet Marstine, Academic Director of the School, has published a new book as part of the Routledge ‘Museum Meanings’ series. 

The monograph explores how artists’ interventions in museums contribute to a developing discourse of museum ethics and create conditions for organisational change towards public agency and shared authority. Borrowing from literature on reconciliation theory as a human rights strategy, the book establishes that artists’ interventions play a unique role in recognising the cultural rights of individuals through initiatives that generate effective social participation. The book discusses these interventions as a symbolic gesture performed to make amends and to repair rifts within the larger framework of peace and reconciliation studies. These gestures of reconciliation convey ‘institutional desire,’ defined by curator Dieter Roelstraete as an ethical caring for museums and galleries that not only expects these organisations to become more equitable but also helps to advance this cause. The book is available to purchase from Routledge.