Ecological Exhibitions at the Musée Océanographique de Monaco

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Abstract

In 2010, the Musée Océanographique de Monaco initiated a contemporary art programme to mark its centenary and reaffirm its commitment to its founding premise of displaying objects of both art and science. Ever since, the museum has regularly staged exhibitions promoting marine wildlife protection. I argue that as well as examining ecological concerns, these exhibitions have functioned in ecological ways, adopting curatorial approaches that traverse art and science to highlight interconnections between humans and ocean life. By revisiting historical modes of display, such as the Wunderkammer, and deploying anthropomorphism, the museum presents ecologies of display that aim to evoke solidarity with marine wildlife. Yet, ambiguity arises when considering these exhibitions in the context of this institution and its longer history, which I suggest requires an ongoing curatorial commitment to finding creative and thoughtful ways of responding to ecological issues in museums.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-181
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Curatorial Studies
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

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