I have co-curated or contributed to the development of several exhibitions as outcomes of recently funded research projects.
Reimagining Museums for Climate Action asks designers, architects, academics, artists, poets, philosophers, museum professionals and the public at large to radically (re)imagine and (re)design the museum as an institution, to help bring about more equitable and sustainable futures in the climate change era. The competition aims to explore how museums can help society transform to a low carbon future, adapt to the impacts of climate change, and safeguard ecosystems.
As the world confronts a global pandemic that is impacting on all aspects of social, cultural and economic life, many of the certainties we may have had about the future seem less concrete. While thousands of museums around the world are currently closed, new forms of engagement and experimentation have emerged to rethink the relationship between museums and society. Alongside a profound sense of loss and insecurity, there is hope: hope that the multitude of ways in which communities globally have responded to COVID-19 might inspire new forms of radical action to address the climate and ecological emergency. In this moment, it is particularly important to consider the unique capacities of museums to shape more just and sustainable futures.
Entries will be judged by an international panel of museum, architecture and design, climate change, heritage and sustainability experts. Eight finalists will each receive £2,500 to develop their ideas into exhibits, which will be displayed at Glasgow Science Centre ahead of and during COP26, the United Nations Climate Change conference, in 2021. COP26 is due to take place at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC). Glasgow Science Centre (GSC), which is situated next to the SEC, will play a key role in the conference. The exhibition will be accompanied by talks, workshops and other activities encouraging debate around the future role of museums, in times of rapid environmental change.
The competition has been developed by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Heritage Priority Area, led by Professor Rodney Harrison (UCL Institute of Archaeology (IoA)), in partnership with Colin Sterling (IoA), Henry McGhie (Curating Tomorrow), and Emma Woodham (GSC). It launches on the 18th May 2020, for International Museums Day.
Register your interest by 31st July 2020 to submit by the final deadline of 15th September 2020.
Further information is available on the competition website www.museumsforclimateaction.org
Co-curated with Henry McGhie, with input from the Heritage Futures research team, Heritage Futures draws on the themes of Diversity, Profusion, Transformation and Uncertainty and other select aspects of the research undertaken by the Heritage Futures research programme. Alongside the exhibition, in the Heritage Futures Studio, the museum asks its visitors to help to imagine, design and begin to create the future. The exhibition runs from December 2018 to December 2020. A brief article including interviews with curators and others involved in developing the exhibition is available on the AHRC website.
The Cabinets of Consequence exhibition aimed to explore the inter-relations of humans and non-humans in the Anthropocene, drawing on UCL research across the disciplines of Geology, Neuroscience, Literature, Computer Science and Archaeology. It ran for 6 months until May 2017, drawing on various case studies from the Heritage Futures research programme.
The exhibition “Los ecos del Proyecto Huemul, 1949-2017”, was produced as an outcome of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Restricted Access Pilot Project, awarded to Rodney Harrison and Trinidad Rico (Director of Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies at Rutgers University). It was hosted in July 2017 at the Balseiro Institute in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. The exhibition was curated and presented in-progress research led by Trinidad Rico and supported by Rodney Harrison and Esther Breithoff on the ‘echoes’ or ‘afterlives’ of the Huemul Atomic Project, an early attempt to develop nuclear fusion technology which was established in 1949 and ran for several years under conditions of extreme secrecy on Isla Huemul, within Nahuel Haupi National Park, the oldest national park in Argentina.