The Constituent Museum. Constellations of Knowledge, Politics and Mediation

Edited by John Byrne, Elinor Morgan, November Paynter, Aida Sánchez de Serdio and Adela Železnik

What would happen if museums put relationships at the centre of their operations? This question inspires this publication, which offers a diverse, rigorous, and experimental analysis of what is commonly known as education, mediation or interpretation within museum institutions. It regards the visitor not as a passive receiver of predefined content, but as an active member of a constituent body, whom it facilitates, provokes, inspires and learns from. Moving beyond the practice of mediation as such, the publication situates constituent practices of collaboration and co-production within the existing social-political (neoliberal) context. It does this to reimagine and affect both the physical and organizational structures of museums and galleries. Understanding the challenges of a constituent practice in an integral, interdisciplinary manner is what this publication aspires to. This is explored by placing the museum's constituents—museum professionals, active audience/co-curator, local and political agencies, operational structures and contexts—at the centre of the museum organization and looking at how their positions in society start to shift and change. Issues that are addressed: ownership and power dynamics, collective pedagogy, pedagogy of encounter, collaboration, assent, dissent and consent, co-labour and co-curation (economies of exchange), precarity, and working with interns, archives and how to activate them, broadcasting, digital cultivation, crowdsourcing, and many other topics.

Editors: John Byrne (Lead Editor, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool), Elinor Morgan (MIMA, Middlesbrough), November Paynter (MOCA, Toronto), Aida Sánchez de Serdio (UOC, Barcelona), Adela Železnik (MG+msum, Ljubljana).

Contributors: Azra Akšamija, Alberto Altés Arlandis, Burak Arikan, James Beighton, Manuel Borja-Villel, Sara Buraya, John Byrne, Jesús Carrillo, Alejandro Cevallos Narváez, Céline Condorelli, Sean Dockray, Özge Ersoy, Carmen Esbrí, Oriol Fontdevila, Amy Franceschini, Janna Graham, Nav Haq, Yaiza Hernández Velázquez, Emily Hesse, John Hill, Alistair Hudson, Adelita Husni-Bey, Kristine Khouri, Nora Landkammer, Maria Lind, Isabell Lorey, Francis McKee, Elinor Morgan, Paula Moliner, November Paynter, Manuela Pedrón Nicolau, Elliot Perkins, Bojana Piškur, Tjaša Pogačar Podgornik, Alan Quireyns, RedCSur, Rasha Salti, Francesco Salvini / pantxo ramas, Raúl Sánchez Cedillo, Aida Sánchez de Serdio, Somateca, Igor Španjol, Nora Sternfeld, Subtramas, Tiziana Terranova, Piet Van Hecke, Onur Yıldız, Adela Železnik.

2018, Valiz with L'internationale | supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union | partners: Liverpool John Moores University, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art | paperback | 384 pp. | English | ISBN 978-94-92095-42-8 | Design by George&Harrison.

Download table of contents and texts by Francis McKee, John Byrne, Rasha Salti and Kristine Khouri and Nora Sternfeld.

Update November 2018: we would like to inform you that the show referred to in the text by Kristine Khouri and Rasha Salti is no longer taking place at the Palestinian Museum.

To purchase the book, please follow this link to the website of our publisher, Valiz

  • 1.
    Table of contents
  • 2.
    Editors' Introduction
    by John Byrne, Elinor Morgan, November Paynter, Aida Sánchez de Serdio, Adela Železnik
  • 3.
    The Rainbow Wrasse
    by Francis McKee
  • 4.
    Negotiating Jeopardy
    by John Byrne
  • 5.
    'Give her the tools, she will know what to do with them!'
    by Nora Sternfeld
  • 6.
    Revisiting and Reconstituting Networks from Japan to Beirut to Chile
    by Kristine Khouri and Rasha Salti

Published in 2018

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