‘Curating collaborative heritages: Dissonance, relational aesthetics and some lessons from inner-city Dublin’

Posted by Ian on Mar 20, 2011 in academic, publications, video

Delivered at the 2009 Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

Heritage spaces are often assumed to be ‘from the past’ or ‘just about the past’. Heritage is assumed to be a ‘stoppage’ of time. The choice to create ‘heritage’ is, however, a contemporary decision requiring collaboration and social partnership. Through a recalibration of temporal expectations of ‘heritages’ or ‘heritage spaces’, the sentiments of heritage can be approached as highly contested, fluid and mobile desires to create discursive spaces for the interrogation and negotation of social life. Approaching heritage as a contemporary, performative choice within social spaces, this paper will illustrate the value of iterative conversations, relational aesthetics and collaboartive arts in the opening of heritage spaces to collaborative curation. It will explore synergies between curatorial practices in both heritage and the arts and reflect on my growing body of curatorial work in contemporary art undertaken since a departure from academic archaeological theory. A case study will be made of the collaborative arts project ‘Placing Voices – Voicing Places: Dublin’s Contemporary Past’ (www.projecthumedia.com/ucdcp.html). Engaging issues of mobility, dislocation, and change inherent to the expressions of self and community within contemporary life, the project explored the fluidity of heritage spaces and the ubiquitous presence of ‘heritages’ in the negotation of social spaces in Inner-City Dublin. More information on my academic and curatorial work can be found at: www.iarchitectures.com.