Verslag symposium What is a ‘Postcolonial Exhibition’?

Samen met het Stedelijk Museum organiseerde Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam op 25 mei het symposium What is a ‘Postcolonial Exhibition’?. Tijdens deze dag werd de omgang van kunstinstituten met het koloniale verleden en het postkoloniale heden besproken. Centraal stond een aantal institutionele praktijken en wetenschappelijke inzichten om een specifiek aspect in het bijzonder te belichten: de tentoonstelling, en de strategieën achter de tentoonstelling.

Curator Christel Vesters schreef een uitgebreid verslag van het symposium (in het Engels). Klik hier om het te lezen.
Kunsthistoricus Esther Schreuder schreef een reportage in het Nederlands. Klik hier om het te lezen.

One Response to Verslag symposium What is a ‘Postcolonial Exhibition’?

  1. Carol Dixon said:

    Thank you for publishing this very helpful summary of the symposium. I agree with Chris Dercon’s view that, ‘It is not enough to do something with exhibitions if it is not followed through in the collection of a museum…’ as a result of collections’ longer lasting impacts on our thoughts and memories (individually, and collectively). However, I would go even further to state that ALL the underlying institutional structures on (and from) which the public-facing aspects of museum and gallery practice are developed need to be re-assessed, and critically interrogated through a ‘post-colonial’/'post-communist’, 21st century (global, pluralist, socially inclusive and diasporic) cultural lens – particularly the (often very dated and unquestioningly Western-biased) collecting and acquisitions policies, pedagogic processes, governance structures, and audience engagement strategies. The other (related) issue that appears to have been largely overlooked in this symposium (based on the content summarised in this commentary) is the issue of WHO is curating, and for whom (& why) that curatorship is being pursued. Unless we shine a light on the relative ‘diversity’ of the prasctitioners and creatives responsible for an exhibition’s structure and content (ideologically, culturally, geographically, etc.)…as well as the publics they perceive to be target (or core) audiences for their outputs, then all talk of exploring ‘postcolonialism’ (or, indeed ‘post-communist’ practice) with regard to museum exhibitions is rendered superficial and meaningless. In due course it would be useful to see the full-text of all the papers presented at this event published via the SMBA website.

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