Symposium, “What Do Museums Research” April 7 – 8, 2018 di National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul - Korea


MMCA Research Project 1
Symposium, “What Do Museums Research”
April 7–8, 2018

“What Do Museums Research” is organized as an endeavor to examine the various practices of the contemporary museum and to chart the course of its future. Inasmuch as art is a product of the real world, the complexities of contemporary society stretch their demands even toward the museum, asking for diverse methodologies and engagement. Such topographical shifts, in turn, expanded what it means to curate. Now, curatorial studies have come to encompass all practices that produce and exchange discourses mediated with art. This phenomenon is also directly responsible for the increasing importance of research in contemporary art. The Symposium seeks to understand how the museum will find its balance amidst the various axes of theory and practice, sense and thought, visual art and language, technology and the analogue. The program consists of a symposium and talks over the span of two days.

The symposium, on the first day is in three sessions. The first session takes “What is Research at a Museum?” as its subject, discussing the expansion of the context and function of different nodes of research within the museum. The second session, “From Attitude to Practice,” discusses the background, process and significance behind the various attempts taken by museums at taking a new turn within a shifting world. The discussion is designed to share certain practices and awareness that could contribute to social research, survey the fruits and significance of projects such as ‘archive projects’ and ‘art publication,’ and examine the relationship between the museum and realpolitik that have made way for radical socio-cultural discussions. The third session, “Curating, Today and Tomorrow” looks into another possibility for the museum of tomorrow, examining the environment surrounding curating, and tracing the trajectory of its flow. It will examine how to break new ground in curating, one that breaks away from the readymade molds of exhibitions, and also discuss what role is required of the curator in light of the new phase in the on/offline culture that the museum faces along with technological development.

On the second day, both directors of Tate and MMCA will talk on the role of today’s museum and its future prospects. Building upon basis of the discussions from the first day, the talk is sure to facilitate a comprehensive yet concrete attempt at tracing the whereabouts of the Art museums

April 7
James Elkins
What is Research at a Museum?

Paola Antonelli
Museums as the R&D Departments of Society: a Curatorial Path to Good Citizenry

Beck Jee-sook
What don’t Museums Research: A Survey Through “One Opening”

Margriet Schavemaker
Museum Research and the Politics of Inclusivity

Paul O’Neill
Exhibitions as Curatorial Readymade forms of Escape

Victoria Walsh
Situated Research: Curating, Technology and the Future

April 8
Talk: Museums of the Future
Maria Balshaw
moderated by Bartomeu Marí


National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu
Seoul 03062 Korea

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