museum narrative and storytelling

When the narrative embraces the imaginary as an intrinsic part of museum design, there is the capacity to allow for multiple readings of space promoting recurrent engagement by the visitor[15]. There is a difference between a museum that limits itself to giving voice to personal stories, and one that reacts to this story, highlights it through a thorough work of editorialization, curation and interpretation.

The discursive exhibition design, because it offers a narrative distance, will be useful in the reflective observation phase.

There again, it is the way in which the visitor’s narrative construction is embedded in a social context that matters. Mezirow describes the Ten Phases of Transformative Learning as such: Phase 2. [22] Its role in regards to narratives then shifts: the museum must collect and include new, other, and underrepresented narratives, and use the visitor’s prior knowledge and existing individual narrative to communicate it better. [17] Tiina Roppola, Designing for the Museum Visitor Experience (New York: Routledge, 2012), 5.

[57] Étienne Wenger, “A Social Theory of Learning,” in Illeris, Contemporary Theories of Learning, 211.

The discursive creates a space for reflection but diminishes the emotional engagement. While more suited to the discursive model with basic components such as meaning, identity, community, and practice, the kind of learning covered—learning as doing, learning as belonging, learning as becoming, learning as experience[58]—can be implemented (at least to some measure) in an immersive exhibition design as well.

It is suggested that information not structured narratively is more likely to be forgotten[3]. Hearing storytellers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Elif Shafak reflect on the impact and consequences of their art is a great source of inspiration for museum workers practicing storytelling.

In “Act 2: a new museum order,” the intent of the museum is one of universal knowledge and organization: “to arrange objects in developmental, historicized sequences, culminating in the present.”[19] Roppola argues that such exhibition designs carry specific ideologies and played a role in nation-making exercises. This article will focus on learning in these two environments and explore what kind of learning takes place in immersive and discursive exhibitions in art museums.

Representation is always in crisis, which is always a form of freedom.”[4] This instability of meaning is precisely what makes art museums a particularly interesting object for studying the impact of diverse narrative forms on learning in museums. Do immersive exhibitions offer the ideal environment for transformative learning, emotional learning, and/or experiential learning?

People are ‘natural storytellers’[1], and engage with narratives as a way to create and interpret culture and identity and ensure their place within human society[2]. ( Log Out /  There should, therefore, be a willingness among visitors to share stories gathered from the exhibition or autobiographic constructions with some peer group. [27] Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folktale (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968).

This focus on visitor experience shifts the placement of the narrative from signage and space into the visitor’s body. Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s argument, this might be due to museum’s tendency to present single stories. “Using the 4MAT System to Bring Learning Styles to Schools,” Educational Leadership (1990): 31–37; see also Susan Weil and Ian McGill, eds., Making Sense of Experiential Learning: Diversity in Theory and Practice (Buckingham: Open University Press, 1989). With works of art, meanings are only produced in context and that is a collective, negotiated, debated and shifting consensual process of determination. [26] We will focus here on specific elements that span several fields of study: literature, media studies, psychology, and neurology. We will first explore how narrative theory can help us better understand the museum public and its relationship to immersive and discursive environments.

Towards a Museum as Commons, Visitor Voices Between the Discursive and the Immersive. If you have other Ted talks, testimonies and tips that have helped you reflect on how to approach storytelling in your institution, please feel free to share them! Regardless of whether it is there in the first place, visitors always reconstruct some kind of narrative which will impact the meaning-making process. [9] Andrea Witcom, Re-Imagining the Museum: Beyond the Mausoleum (London: Routledge, 2003), 89–90. She teaches cultural education, curatorship and interdisciplinary research methods in the Master of Arts and Heritage program, as well as 19th and 20th century art and literature in the BA Arts and Culture program. However, when visiting a museum ‘we never go to read the whole thing, certainly not all at once’, instead we notice things incidentally. In discursive models, the knowledge created is often in the realm of cognitive information. [56] Jarvis, “Learning to be a Person in Society,” in Illeris, Contemporary Theories of Learning, 22. In “Act 5: (de) constructing inclusion,” Roppola presents the museum’s goal as inclusivity. [4] Ferguson, et al., Thinking About Exhibitions, 186. [37] Oliver Sacks, “The Lost Mariner,” The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales (New York: Summit Books, 1985), 22–41. While the visitor offers the narrative life and significance, museums present them with ‘complete and self-contained worlds’[13]. Vladimir Propp’s seminal study of folktales revealed that the form of a tale could remain unchanged but that its content could change. For issue 10 of Stedelijk Studies a video and various video stills by Rosa Menkman were created.

[on-line] (Hamburg : Korber-Stiftung, 2000). When we choose to be in the company of a story by reading a novel or seeing a film, the narrative sets itself off as a narrative, not as a part of our lives; we stand in relation to it as audience to its “performance” as an aesthetic work.

[52] If we look at Jack Mezirow’s transformative learning sequence considering the changes in narrative position in immersive and discursive exhibitions, unexpected results appear.[53].
See instructions, Issue # 10 – Imagining the Future of Digital Archives and Collections, Issue #4 – Between the Discursive and the Immersive, For Whom Do We Write Exhibitions? In any case, the museum is a key link in the chain of learning through narrative, and in the process of memorization. See more ideas about Storytelling, Museum, Museum education.

What kind of learning takes place here? Exploration of options for new roles, relationships, and actions, Phase 7. [39] Young and Saver, “The Neurology of Narrative,” 74. [33] John Falk and Lynn Dierking, Learning from Museums: Visitor Experiences and the Making of Meaning (Lanham, MD: Altamira Press, 2000), 51.

Kolb’s experiential learning cycle applied to immersive (red) and discursive (green) exhibition designs. Is it still experiential learning?

[7] John Falk and Lynn Dierking, The Museum Experience (Washington, DC: Whalesback Books, 1992).

Recognition that one’s discontent and the process of transformation are shared and that others have negotiated a similar change, Phase 5.

They are transformed from passive viewer to active participant[16]. [54] Jack Mezirow, Education for Perspective Transformation: Women’s Re-Entry Programs in Community Colleges (New York: Teacher’s College, Columbia University, 1978). 2 (2008): 104–123. Acquisition of knowledge and skills for implementing one’s plans, Phase 9.

[50] In that case, the discursive exhibition model should be ideal to create this kind of emotional engagement.

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