The Museologist

Inside the White Cube

Posted in Texts by adevereux on November 23, 2009

This collection of 3 essays was originally published in Art Forum Magazine.  It is a quick read and an excellent intro into the topic of museum studies.  In this book, Brian O’Doherty examines the role and the experience of the museum visitor within the gallery space.  He discusses  traditional display conventions and how the context of the museum space becomes the content, or the message, of the exhibit.  This got me wondering: is there such thing as an objective gallery space? In other words, how much of what we view/read/experience in a museum is dictated by the subjective values of the curator and museum executives?  Is the “white cube” environment supposed to act as a blank slate, a tabula rasa, for the art and artifacts to tell their own story? Or is that idealized white cube itself a highly subjective museum convention?

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