How to read a museum: Language, bodies and reading between the lines of museum exhibitions
Join Toni Church as she discusses the art of language, the representation of bodies—particularly female bodies—and the processes of meaning-making within museums.
Museums tell us stories about who we are. These are stories that range from national mythology to personal triumphs and tragedies, and aim to connect their audiences with a feeling of collective memory. The processes of museum collecting, curating and exhibiting stories is done carefully and meticulously—but these processes are not without bias and agenda. How museums tell stories, what stories are told and who decides upon these stories all influence the visitor experience. This discussion will critically examine some examples from recent Australian exhibitions to demonstrate how visitors can “read between the lines” in museums.