image: Old Geo in the kitchen of Old Geo’s Antiques, Saskatchewan, photo by Kirsty Robertson
This SSHRC-funded project examines “museums” and collections that are open to the public, but that fall well outside of the ICOM definition of a traditional museum. I am specifically interested in the critical potential of such institutions. This project picks up from a 2017 article that I wrote with Helen Gregory, where we asked: what possibilities are opened by scaling down the size of museums to the point where they can effectively remove themselves from the weight of day-to-day operations of museums? What potentials emerge when small size allows for innovative forms of curation to take place outside of typical funding models? How can those who feel blocked or hindered by establishment museums use the form of the museum against itself to create oppositional or critical spaces? And, is it possible that small size can in fact enliven rather than neutralize or deaden cultural materials?
I am currently in the process of writing a book on this topic, with an expected submission date of early 2022.