No Small Matter: Micromuseums as Critical Institutions

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with Helen Gregory. “No Small Matter? Micromuseums as Critical Institutions,” RACAR (special issue: Critical Curating) 43.2 (2018), pp. 89-101.

Focusing on three micro-institutions located in Canada, each with specifically challenging and/or political mandates, this article examines the critical potential of small spaces and tiny museums. We analyze how the Feminist Art Gallery in Toronto, the STAG Project Space, Gallery, and artist residency in Vancouver (now closed), and The Museum of Fear and Wonder in Bergen, Alberta each engage with community, marginality, radical intervention, and curatorial strategy in inventive ways necessitated by sparse funding and limited space. Each of these spaces has unsettled and challenged funding, hosting, and exhibition norms, reimagining curating from the bottom up. By highlighting the limits of curatorial strategies built on personal investment (both monetary and time) and operating outside traditional funding structures, we examine the position of the artist-curator in light of the editors’ proposed hypothesis of the curator as producer or agent of social change, as well as the potential impact of curating on a small scale.

Read a version of the paper here.

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About Kirsty Robertson

Kirsty Robertson is an Associate Professor of contemporary art and museum studies at the University of Western Ontario.

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