Stephanie Stroh

Research Group: Visual & Material Culture Research Centre
Award studied: PhD (AHRC)

Project title

Theatricality and embodiment in post-museum practice

Abstract

My research builds on the premise that we can witness a shift to a performative or theatrical mode in contemporary museum practice and argues that this shift not only alters our conceptualisation of the museum as medium for representation, but also asks us to question our methodologies of critical inquiry. The emergence of the post-museum as term and 'event' in the academic field as a response to museum practice highlights a willingness for change in regards to how the museum is perceived and practiced, yet the field has so far failed to explore and develop the implications of the post-museum in research practice. I argue that the post-museum should not be approached as a tangible object of museological critique that requires explanation, contextualisation and analysis, but as a conceptual intervention that demands and makes space for new modes of expression and lines of inquiry. My research will draw on aspects of non-representational theories from the field of human and cultural geography in response to the performative or theatrical turn in museum practice in order to introduce a performative mode of criticality to museum discourse. Arguing for an embodied style of research which takes place from a position within the museum, fieldwork will play a central role in my project. I will inhabit the National Maritime Museum, London, for a period of one year as a visiting researcher throughout which empirical materials such as writing and photography will be generated, which will perform and critique the Museum in experimental ways as moves towards a more performative museology.