“On Agency”, part 2 of the 3-part workshop series “Circulation of knowledge, agency and branding in a museum setting”
Time: 10.00 – 17.00
Venue: Stedelijk and seminar room (TBC)
Open to: postgraduate and research students, members of the Huizinga Institute and NICA
Credits: 1 ECTS (available upon request)
Coordination: Eve Kalyva
Maximum no. of participants: 12
Registration: Contact Huizinga coordinator Annelien Krul (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is agency and how does it manifest in a museum setting? We can understand our own agency empirically as our capacity to carry out an intentional action. At the same time, we can acknowledge the limitations we might face in executing what we intended, and the value judgements we make in the process. However, it is more challenging to acknowledge and understand how the agencies of other actors shape and impact our experiences and understanding especially in relation to art and culture.
This workshop explores the concept of agency, how it has historically developed and in turn how it has shaped cultural history and production. It examines how agency is articulated in a museum setting through historical and contemporary examples, and uses the Stedelijk’s collection and exhibition design as a case study. Through on site practical activities and in class discussion, we will consider:
- How does agency enter the discussion around art and our experience of it?
- What agencies manifest themselves in a museum setting and how are these conditioned?
- How can agency be strengthened or challenged?
This workshop gives you the opportunity to better understand and explore the concept of agency in practical terms. It will enrich your capacity to apply and transfer theoretical knowledge and combine it with direct experience; and encourage you to examine art, culture and museum practices in concrete and real-life settings. You will consider different types of agency, evaluate their premises and conceptualise and test out alternative scenarios. Fostering critical thinking, observation and collaboration, this workshop will benefit students who study culture, art, philosophy, sociology and curating.
Students should prepare a paragraph on how they understand agency and/or relevant references and quotes to be presented in class.
References (texts will be provided)
Pierre Bourdieu, “The Field of Cultural Production, or: The Economic World Reversed”, Poetics, 12:4-5 (1983), pp.311-56 (excerpts will be specified prior to the workshop)
Alfred Gill, Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory (Clarendon Press, 1998), pp.16-23; pp.126-33
- 10.00 – 11.00 Introductory discussion
- 11.00 – 11.30 Transfer to the Stedelijk
- 11.30 – 13.00 On-site activities
- 13.00 – 14.00 Lunch break; transfer to seminar room
- 14.00 – 16.00 In-class activities
- 16.00-17.00 Round-up discussion