Non-Fiction Books:

What Are Exhibitions For? An Anthropological Approach



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What Are Exhibitions For? An Anthropological Approach by Inge Daniels

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Why do people go to exhibitions, and what do they hope to gain from the experience? Traditional understandings of exhibitions place the viewers in a one-way communication form, where the exhibition and those behind its creation inform their audiences. This concept draws on the idea that the exhibition is a neutral arrangement of material culture put together for didactic or spectacular purposes which in turn feeds on the assumption that exhibition goers are driven by an urge to learn from and be awed by iconic objects. However, motivations behind exhibitions going are multiple and complex and frequently the intentions of curators do not match the expectations of their visitors. Inge Daniels explores what might happen if people and objects were freed from the regulations associated with going to an exhibition. Instead of moving formulaically through the exhibition, what might happen if people are encouraged to move freely through the spaces, take photographs and be boisterous and playful? Based on an in-depth ethnographic examination of the processes involved in the making and reception of one particular exhibition experiment as well as a study that follows 'freed' objects into their new homes, this publication will shed light on what exhibitions are but also what they could become in the future. Lavishly illustrated, and featuring practical examples, this will be a fantastic guide for students and scholars of museum studies, sociocultural anthropology and curatorial studies.

Author Biography

Inge Daniels is an Associate Professor in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, UK.
Release date NZ
January 10th, 2019
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
175 colour illus
Bloomsbury Academic
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