The permanent and official blog of the University of Leicester's School of Museum Studies PhD student conferences and special events.

5 November 2013

Transmutation #14 - An Opening at the End of the Day

This is not a speech, says Janet, but a brief provocation.

Yinka Shonibare's Party Time is a study in metamorphosis. Set in a Victorian dining room in the Newarke Museum in New Jersey, it presents a tableau of a rich banquet where rules and aesthetics are all askew. Victorian propriety has been replaced with self indulgence and sexual abandon. Guilded Age wealth is compared with our contemporary culture of excess. It speaks of our need to reject silences around social justice issues and to assert moral agency.

Artists can take risks and reimagine our collections, shed light on the past as a way of addressing the present and future. Similarly, in the Museum Metamorphosis exhibition, local Leicestershire artists act in dialogue with the collections of the Leicester Museums Service. Welcome, says Janet, to our exhibition.

And that's me done for the night. An interesting and provocative day. Very different in a lot of ways, to the conferences I have seen here before. I might go and explore the exhibition now. See you all tomorrow - sleep well, and have dreams of change.

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