On the Internal Front Lines: Curatorial Activism and Collection Exhibitions

2019-01-08T00:49:50Z (GMT) by SARAH ANN FARRAR
Collection exhibitions are an under-analysed aspect of curatorial practice, yet they can be an important platform to challenge art historical and national narratives. Through three collection-based exhibition case studies—at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid and the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt—and a practice-based component, the “Tūrangawaewae: Art and New Zealand” exhibition at Te Papa, this exegesis tests the possibility of a critical curatorial practice within a national museum, in light of discourse around curatorial activism and ‘museums as contact zones’. The research argues for curators working in cross-cultural contexts and those committed to curatorial activism within institutions to take a critically self-reflexive approach when curating collections.