Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG)

The Cinematic Musée Imaginaire of spatial cultural differences [CineMuseSpace]

This project aims to build new understanding of spatial cultural differences, of the ways in which our cultural experience might impact the way we conceive and inhabit space, and to consider how this new understanding might impact interpretation and design in museums by reframing notions of visitor experience. The project uses cinematic representations of space from films to undertake a cross cultural study of space. Central to this research will be the construction of a cinematic ontology of spatial cultural differences that will specifically focus on films representative from both the Western 'naturalism' tradition [Europe/USA] and the Eastern 'analogism' tradition [China/Japan], after Descola's ontologies.

In Stage two of the project, we will work with National Museums Liverpool, the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester and The Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts in China to create installations which use the research to open up new opportunities for cross-cultural experience and insight. Using a novel and research-led exhibition development process generated by RCMG, CineMuseSpace also seeks to make a significant contribution to on-going research to understand and democratise museum experience. In its final stage, the project will implement an innovative online virtual version of CineMuseSpace, leaving a sustainable methodology and framework which can be replicated across other cultures, a lasting resource that can be expanded over time.

The project runs from September 2017- September 2019.

CineMuseSpace is collaborative project led by Professor Francois Penz, University of Cambridge with Dr Suzanne MacLeod, RCMG and Professor Andong Lu, Urbanism and Architectural Theory, University of Nanjing.

It is funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

In Spring 2019, a team from the RCMG in collaboration with Soup Collective, a group of film makers from Manchester, worked in collaboration with the Port Sunlight Village Trust, residents from Port Sunlight and Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool, to make a short film about the architectural spaces and everyday routines of Port Sunlight village.

As one of the outcomes from The Cinematic Musée Imaginaire, the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries have put together a publication outlining the findings from research conducted at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester and Port Sunlight, exploring people’s experience, and understanding of, everyday space. Download (PDF, 2.27MB).

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