By Olivia Melkonian
Founding their dialogue in the three pillars of Collection, Building/Site and People, this initiative aims to include underheard and diverse voices to discuss and pose solutions to timely challenges of the current museum and art industry. Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi Mariet Westermann is asking “Who and what are museums for? How can the museum compete with the virtual resources of the digital age? What is the museum’s relevance for people who had little or no say in their creation?”
Roundtable discussions and case study analysis will engage attendees in dialogues of exploring and implementing new models in the near-future focusing on platform and consumption of art, curation of collections and ongoing programs and supporting emerging, younger talent among prospects of ownership, inclusivity, storytelling and the exchange and collaboration between similar institutions. Posing the question “whose museum?” invites constructive criticism of past exclusivity and invites advice on repairing these relationships, while also reframing the perspective of organisers within the museum.
The museum celebrated their third anniversary on November 11 with a range of exciting activities, including the Reframing Museums Symposium (Nov 16-18), The Louvre’s film debut and premiere of The Pulse of Time and Art for Health and Wellbeing. In light of this, HE Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi observes how “Culture provides us with the ability to expand the mind and define the world we live in, and our ongoing acquisitions of exceptional new artworks for the museum’s growing collection aim to continuously offer visitors a fresh glimpse of the vast history of human creativity. In these unprecedented times, that feeling of interrelatedness, of being part of something larger than ourselves, is more important than ever. Louvre Abu Dhabi and its universal message remain a linchpin of Abu Dhabi’s mission to find unity in diversity and make culture a key part of our everyday lives.”
The three-day symposium will tackle challenging dialogues through honest group discussions and a varied input. Re-defining museums, the way we tell stories and the need to host collections in order to be considered “museums” are some aspects on the agenda on Monday 16th, as well as re-evaluating exhibitions in a post-pandemic world. With the drastic increase in communication using technology, The Louvre and NYU Abu Dhabi will consider new ways of showcasing art, and how this may even increase the accessibility of museums in general.
Tuesday 17th will examine how the physical space of the museum aligns with it’s curatorial wishes. In a roundtable discussion, the symposium will ask how museums can be better integrated into public spaces, building a bridge between past, present and future, as well as engaging in dialogues addressing social justice and inclusion. It will also include a presentation of case studies, in which attendees will have the chance to observe how museums can promote understanding through empathy, as well as the institutions’ responsibility as a civic space.
The final day of Reframing Museums will look into the preservation of both artefacts and architecture, and the role museums have in this, inviting panelists to talk about new ways of interpreting heritage and archeological sites. The future of curation will also be a topic of discussion, and the importance of museums inviting in voices from outside of their institutions.
To register for the waiting list, visit this link.