Nothing About Us Without Us

It is a challenging time for museums and galleries as public funding is dwindling and there is a shift to corporate and private patronage. With this also comes a corporate style of management that focuses on measurable outcomes. This can counter the trend to decolonize and democratize the museum field through the lens of education and social/ public programs.

My works address the insidious and pervasive manner in which the collecting, and the curating of art expositions can work to make the visible invisible to reassure funders, collectors and a segment of the citizenry.

It is a delicate to find the balance between rigor and heart. But I believe the overemphasis on academic process and language has distanced museums from their local community. Sociocultural and economic barriers have been built.

I have also chosen to re-introduces the sense of smell as a significant component of several of these works to challenge the visual and non-tactile nature of the works in most contemporary shows. I have titled this series Sillage the word for the trail of scent a perfume leaves. For these works, I combined altered art auction catalogues with specific fragrant substances, for example: soap, rose petals and pipe tobacco to evoke associations and memories that may relate to the issues outlined previously. Two other works Please Do Not Touch and Making the Visible Invisible address physical and psychological barriers.

The time is critical for museums and galleries to re-imagine themselves as safe places for dialogue, for exploration, learning and engaging with the community. If they fail the important issues facing people locally and globally will continue to be debated outside their walls.


See Performance of "Admission Fee" connected to this Installation