chapter  8
14 Pages

Inexperienced museum visitors and how they negotiate contemporary art: a comparative study of two visitor-driven visual art presentations

Contemporary artworks are curious items in our material world. Being contemporary, it is sometimes supposed that they are more subject to interpretation than older art; however, they frequently remain a closed book under our enquiring gaze. Even when created out of the most familiar of materials, using everyday images and referring to our own surroundings, contemporary artworks can still evade clear interpretation. The more experienced know how to deal with an artwork’s open-ended questions and provocations, how to come to an interpretation and how to form an opinion. However, museum visitors with less experience vis-à-vis contemporary art can find themselves faced with an impenetrable blur of images without any means of making the subject ‘speak’ to them.