Another theme at the “Contemporary medical science and technology as a challenge to museums”-conference was ‘investigating museum visitors’.
Can visitors’ experiences help us make our museums better? Should an exhibition be guided by what the curator is passionate about or by what she thinks the visitor might find interesting? Or should we simply ask visitors to co-curate exhibitions? This was some of the questions that Stella Mason and Alex Tyrrell put forth in their talks.[biomed]nnyGzGwJxzs[/biomed]
The short talks (read Stella’s abstract here and Alex’ here) were followed by a discussion about the different kinds of visitors and how there might be more than one voice (i.e. visitor or curator) present in an exhibition. It was pointed out that visitors react to the passion as much as to the knowledge behind an exhibition. But then again what do visitors think of exhibitions curated by people ‘like themselves’. It’s a nice idea, but does it make a nice exhibition?
The discussion (at the end of the video clip) included comments from Danny Birchall, Thomas Söderqvist, Nurin Veis, Yin Chung Au, John Durant, Wendy Atkinson, Adam Bencard and Ken Arnold.