As artists have moved towards models of post-studio practice in which the art object is no longer privileged above other forms, the gallery itself becomes a site for production, dialogue, and debate. In this lecture, Dr Michael Birchall argues that the museum has transformed itself into a site of participation through the facilitation of socially engaged art projects. Whether socially engaged art commissions manifest inside the museum as installations or sites of activity or outside as collaborations with specific communities, curators build special relationships with each stakeholder—the museum, the artist, and the community—and they have become increasingly aware of the role of their audiences as participants.
This talk is presented as part the Mapletree-NTU CCA Singapore Art Education Programme series.
Dr Michael Birchall (United Kingdom) is Curator of Public Practice at Tate Liverpool and Senior Lecturer in Exhibition Studies at Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom. His curatorial practice and research concern socially engaged art, performance, and notions of publicness in museums. He has previously held curatorial appointments at The Banff Centre’ Walter Phillips Gallery and The Western Front (both Canada), as well as at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (Germany). His writing has appeared in Frieze, ARKEN Bulletin, OnCurating, Modern Painters, C Magazine, Art & the Public Sphere, and various exhibition catalogues. Recently, he co-edited Collective Good/Collaborative Efforts (Stavanger: Rogaland Kunstsenter, 2017) and co-curated O.K. – The Musical (2017), an iterative community theatre musical by Christopher Kline at Tate Liverpool.
Image caption: Alex Turgeon, The Tilting at Windmills, 2017. Courtesy Tate Liverpool.