The death of the museum is announced. The last breath is sucked out of a museum ventilator that has ceased to remain dynamic, unpredictable, discomforting, and subversive. This is my mental image of a museum that fails the relevance test; an institution that continues to insist that its natural vocation is to prescribe knowledge, colonise the visitor with what it patronisingly perceives as useful or worthwhile knowledge, treats the visitors on its own terms, constructs the patrons as consumer others, conceives of communities as ‘deficient’ and in constant need of cultural mediators to simplify what curators perceive as too complex texts for popular consumption, and thinks that modernising the message through technology, without shifting the pedagogical paradigm to a more participatory notion of knowledge production, is a positive and the productive way forward in educational terms.
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