The Space of Reception: Framing Autonomy and Collaboration

In Brad Buckley & John Conomos (eds.), Who Runs the Artworld: Money, Power and Ethics. Faringdon, UK: Libri Publishing. pp. 201-212 (2017)

Jennifer A. McMahon
University of Adelaide
In this paper we analyse the ideas implicit in the style of exhibition favoured by contemporary galleries and museums, and argue that unless the audience is empowered to ascribe meaning and significance to artwork through critical dialogue, the power not only of the audience is undermined but also of art. We argue that galleries and museums preside over an experience economy devoid of art, unless (i) indeterminacy is understood, (ii) the critical rather than coercive nature of art is facilitated, and (iii) the conditions for inter-subjectivity are met.
Keywords museums  critical reception  experience economy  art and expertise
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