Thinking through the Museum congratulates team member Heather Igloliorte for her recent Art Journal Award! This Award, given based on Igloliorte’s article ““Curating Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit: Inuit Knowledge in the Qallunaat Art Museum,” in the Summer 2017 issue of Art Journal, was given out as a part of the College Art Association’s (CAA) Annual Meeting in Los Angeles in February 2018.
Thinking through the Museum research team members and collaborators closed the momentus “Museums and their Publics at Sites of Conflicted History” international conference in Warsaw, Poland (March 13-15, 2017). The conference explored the role of museums in negotiating new public histories in societies in transition; of special interest was how the historical narratives constructed in museums help to shape new social relations in a dynamically changing present.
Drs. Angela Failler, Heather Igloliorte, Erica Lehrer, and Monica Patterson participated in the conference’s many roundtable and panel discussions, finishing with a panel of their own titled “Thinking through the Museum: Difficult Knowledge in Public.” This panel, which also invited collaborators Dr. Shelley Ruth Butler (McGill University), Hanna Radziejowska (Warsaw Uprising Museum, the Dom Spotkan z Historia [“House of Meetings with History”], Museum of the City of Warsaw), Magdalena Zych (Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum), and Aleksandra Janus (Jagiellonian University), asked the questions:
Can museum institutions question cherished collective myths of heroism and tolerance? To what extent can they be self-critical, and how? What progressive social, political, and educational functions can such museums serve? And most interesting for our research: what roles can scholars, activists, artists, and citizens play in holding these institutions to their highest stated mandates, or even expandingthem? This includes not only their content or modes of representation, but the construction of their audiences. Who are audiences imagined (and encouraged) by museum practitioners to be, and what are these visitors allowed and expected to do?
The presentation is available for viewing on the conference’s website here.
On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, Thinking through the Museum research team members Angela Failler, Heather Igloliorte, Erica Lehrer, and Monica Patterson were joined by colleagues Shelley Ruth Butler and Jennifer C. Robinson for a roundtable discussion at the Association of Critical Heritage Studies conference in Montreal, Québec, Canada.
The discussion focused on the conference’s theme and asked the question: what might the heritage of difficult knowledge change, if productively curated? Participants discussed topics including (but not limited to): slow museology and conflict; game methodologies to address victim competition; children and difficult knowledge; counter-museums and social justice, failed politics of recognition, museum leadership and structure, and indigenous curatorial practice and settler colonialism.
While the Canadian Museum of Human Rights was a central focus, particularly in relation to the Partnership Development Grant from SSHRC, participants also drew on their broad field of engagement, including museums in Poland, South Africa, northern Canada, the United States, and Germany.
Congratulations to research team member Dr. Heather Igloliorte who, on May 13, 2016, was awarded the Excellence in Visual Arts (EVA) Critical Eye Award at the 11th Annual EVA Awards in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
The award, presented by Visual Artists Newfoundland & Labrador (VANL-CARFAC), recognizes the impact that critical art writing can have on a visual artists’ career. Any writer worldwide who has written about a NL artist in any recognized print or online publication during the past calendar year is eligible for consideration.
For more information on the awards, check out VANL-CARFAC’s website.
On February 12, 2016, Thinking through the Museum team members participated in a workshop on Inuit art and curatorial practices at the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Go to Collecting and Displaying Inuit Art under the Workshops tab for more description and a photo gallery.