Art Takes Me There

By Reese, Elizabeth B. | Art Education, January 2003 | Go to article overview

Art Takes Me There


Reese, Elizabeth B., Art Education


Engaging the Narratives of Community Members Through Interpretative Exhibition Processes and Programming

When U.S. art museums opened their doors in 1872, the prevailing modes of thinking were grounded in perspectives based on the Enlightenment that supported grand-narratives and modernist "rules" for the legitimization of knowledge. In brief, these grand-narratives and rules for legitimization supported "truths" from one perspective-typically the educated and elite-and rendered all others invisible and silent (Lyotard, 1993). Accordingly, pedagogical strategies were employed that presented single narrative explanations of exhibitions based on culturally constructed notions of legitimate knowledge (Hooper-Greenhill, 1992; Roberts, 1997; Wallach, 1998). Single narratives are now considered problematic because they (1) produce an authoritative, single truth, (2) include minimal, if any, additional perspectives and limited contextual information, and (3) lack encouragement of conversations that promote multiple perspectives or critical, reflexive inquiry (Hooper-- Greenhill, 1992; McLean, 1999; Reese, 2001; Roberts, 1997). This traditional approach subsequently may deter visitors from attending or returning to a museum thereby challenging its own educational mission.

Current theorists propose that new practices are emerging that nurture multiple "knowledges" rather than knowledge, facilitate multiple interpretations rather than a single interpretation, and encourage interaction among numerous narratives rather than the presentation of a single narrative (see Figure 1) (Hooper-Greenhill, 1992, 2000; Garoian, 2001; McLean, 1999; Roberts, 1997; Wallach, 1998). Similarly, I propose that static experiences within museum exhibitions can be transformed into dynamic ones by applying theories and practices associated with intertextuality, narratives, and narrative forms of education.

In order to explain these emerging pedagogies, each of the theories that make up the foundation for "intertextual exhibition narratives" will be characterized and their value to museum education described. Then definitions and discussions will be presented of the five performative strategies that were used as pedagogical tools to implement a specific intertextual exhibition narrative, Art Takes Me There, at the South Texas Institute for the Arts (STIA) in Corpus Christi, Texas. Next the multifaceted processes and programs will be shared that resulted in the intertextual exhibition narrative. Finally, concluding comments will be offered about utilizing intertextual narrative pedagogical theories and practices.

Constructing Engaging Exhibitions through Intertextuality, Narrative Theory, and Narrative Forms of Education

Intertextuality. Intertextuality is described as the manner in which a text-any interpretable object or narrative, such as a performance, song, television program, work of art, or exhibition-always refers to other texts (Barthes, 1977; Bal, 1997). Intertextuality exists whether or not a reader is able to acknowledge the possible relationships from one text to others (Scholes, 1982). This concept is critical because it suggests that there are numerous relationships among and within a given text, and that there may always be additional connections to be revealed when another reader happens along.

Here, I envision that there is an implicit network of human ideas and texts similar to how contemporary cultures from all around the world rely on the World Wide Web not only for information, but also for communications with one another. In fact, I consider the Internet to be a metaphor for intertextual exhibition narratives and that many individuals who make use of this electronic technology are always working to create new links and connections, always striving to create and reveal new relationships among disciplines and ideas. Correlating intertextual exhibition narratives to a website is significant because it challenges traditional authoritative presentations that include minimal contextual information and limited perspectives.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Art Takes Me There
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.