In an age where museums are routinely designed by "starchitects" such as Zaha Hadid and Renzo Piano, some of the most effective museum contexts have been created unconventionally and indirectly-by the forces of history, nature and time. We will analyze and discuss the exhibition spaces around the world that have been formed by history and unexpected events, as well as pre-existing structures that have been repurposed to become exhibition venues. A focus will be placed on genre-defying spaces such as the National Museum of Cambodia, and we will discuss the coexistence of cultural tourism and sacred spaces by looking at heavily visited temples, mosques and churches from around the world. Archaeological sites that are actively embedded into the everyday life of the communities that surround them will also be discussed in depth. Spaces such as these are evidence that the necessary cultural specificity for presenting certain works of art cannot always be purchased, commissioned, or designed, and that an object more when this is not the case. For the final project, students will curate their own exhibitions for unconventional museum spaces.
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