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Arnolfini - est 1961

Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind (Khalil Rabah), Danger Museum (Øyvind Renberg & Miho Shimizu), The Museum of American Art, Museo Salinas (Vicente Razo), Museum of Non-Participation (Karen Mirza & Brad Butler), Museum of Television Culture (Jaime Davidovich), Victoria and Alferd Museum (Åbäke), Hu Xiangqian’s Museum (Hu Xiangqian), Museum of Forgotten History (Maarten Vanden Eynde), Museum of Incest (Simon Fujiwara). 

One of the most curious tendencies in modern and contemporary art has been that of museums created by artists. Museum Show is a historical survey exhibition displaying a comprehensive selection of these highly idiosyncratic, semi-fictional institutions – or a “museum of museums” perhaps. Presented at Arnolfini in two chapters, which began with Part 1 from 24 September – 19 November, it is the first exhibition to chart this particular tendency in contemporary art.

Museum Show presents museums by approximately 30 artists from across the spectrum of career status and from around the globe. The exhibition will look at the different interpretations of what a museum can be, whilst charting the methodologies and reasons used by artists for creating their own institutions – ranging historically from critique directed towards institutions of art, to more contemporary examples that focus their attention towards wider social and political realms of power.

Museum Show Part 2 presents an ambitious series of installations, including The Museum of American Art, charting the dominance of American art and ideologies from the 50s and 60s in Europe, whereas Khalil Rabah’s Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind plays with the traditional “ethnographic” framings of non-Western cultures in museums. The Museum of Forgotten History is an institution that is set in the future looking back at the present day, whereas the Danger Museum offers a more convivial and playful understanding of a museum. Each of them in their own way rethinks the traditional museum by providing them with a unique fictional narrative.

Museum Show Part 2 is also the final exhibition as part of Arnolfini’s year-long 50th anniversary programme.