Imagine New Rules: Arnolfini director Claire Doherty’s vision of the future of art galleries.

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Ferranti, F. (2017) Arnolfini’s façade. [Unpublished photograph]. Arnolfini, Bristol.

Since I have started my MA in Curatorial Practice, I have developed a predominant interest in reflecting on future modes of participation, especially addressing the need of rethinking art buildings as safe spaces for non-binary and queer people.

How do art galleries and museums might engage with wider audiences and craft more inclusive experiences?

While reading the chapter ‘Defining Participation; Practices in the Dutch Art World’, I came across the practical approach of Rijkmuseum Twenthe’s director Arnould Odding, which is centered on the idea of the ‘network museum’ (Odding, 2016: 50): the author clearly puts a specific emphasis on empathy, subjectivity and meaning-making as the main goals of art organisations.

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Claire Doherty [electronic print]. Available from: http://www.phf.org.uk/case-studies/claire-doherty/ [Accessed Friday 1 November 2017}

All these goals are the core of the Imagine New Rules‘s campaign at Arnolfini in Bristol: this collaborative project of artists, writers, performers and public was envisioned by the imagination of director Claire Doherty to foster reflection on the role of contemporary art centers in the future.

Listening to this podcast with artist and compere Tom Marshman, led me to research on the rationale behind Beacons, Icons & Dykons and specifically the Angora Nights’s takeover as part of the series of events alongside Grayson Perry’s exhibition.

 

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Ferranti, F. (2017) Panel on gender identity and masculinity for Beacons, Icons & Dykons’s Angora Nights at Arnolfini. [Unpublished photograph]. Arnolfini, Bristol.

Being inspired by Grayson Perry’s being a crossdresser, Angora Nights shed a light on the life of director Ed Wood, showing Tim Burton’s movie and creating a series of performances on the theme of crossdressing/gender fluidity.

Furthermore, I believe in the pivotal role of queer takeovers for questioning the patriarchal and heteronormative structures that still lie at the very heart of society and art organisations.

Overall, I would like to share with you some of the suggestions on the Imagine New Rules’s wall, situated on the third floor: let’s focus our attention on recognising and destabilising the power structures within society and on the need of moving beyond the idea of  art galleries as fixed sanctuaries.

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Ferranti, F. (2017) Imagine New Rules: selected thoughts. [Unpublished photograph]. Arnolfini, Bristol.

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