Institute of Education


IOE students get hands-on experience of exhibition curation

14 February 2017

The Museums and Galleries in Education MA is hosting a series of exhibitions curated by its current students.

The first exhibition, ‘The Time of Crowds’, is curated by Chinese students Renhan Guo and Yuwei Zhu and reflects on people passing. The exhibition shows three films: the first is by the Lumière brothers (1895) and shows workers leaving a factory, and the second is a film-essay by Harun Farocki (1995) that looks at crowds. Guo and Zhu juxtapose these pieces with a film they made themselves, which captures tourists entering and leaving the British Museum.

Museums and Galleries MA exhibition

Speaking of the experience, Guo and Zhu said:

“It has been a creative, experimental, and collaborative journey for us and we are very grateful to have this opportunity to curate this exhibition. We worked as a team, so we have learnt how to work cooperatively with each other during the processes of creating the artwork and exhibition. We have learnt all the essential processes of curatorial work; for example, how to get the plan, integrate ideas, co-operate with different departments, acknowledge the relevant regulations and rules, and think of every aspect to ensure and improve the outcomes of the exhibition.

“Most importantly, we have learnt about our strengths and abilities regarding the professional knowledge and skills we need to further build up and develop. Our discussions with different people have provided us with new angles, perspectives, and interpretations about how they have reflected on our ideas and how we will focus on our studies and professional practices in the future.”

Museums and Galleries exhibition_2

Dr Marquard Smith, Programme Leader for the MA said:

“With the MA, we're trying to give the students the right combination of intellectual input, professional development, and hands-on experience. This is why we've established The Monitor Gallery, to give students the opportunity to develop and deliver 'live' curatorial and programming projects (which includes them having to come up with the exhibition idea, budgeting, writing the wall text, marketing and publicity, and even organising the Private View).

" “For us, it's this combination of seminars and dialogue, visits to cultural organisations to speak with museum and gallery professionals there, incredible placement opportunities (at the British Museum, the V&A, Museum of London, and elsewhere), and these 'live projects' that best prepares our students for work in the creative and cultural industries.”

‘The Time of Crowds’ is open to the general public from Wednesday 8–Friday 24 February. The next exhibition is titled ‘People, Pictures and Public Places’ and will run from Tuesday 28 February–Friday 31 March.

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