In her book The Participatory Museum Nina Simon presents ideas for making art galleries and museums more relevant and dynamic. One chapter is called Co-Creating with Visitors. I saw a great example of co-creation when I visited the Musée de la civilisation à Québec.
Empty City near Tianjin – photo by Ninon Pednault – La Presse My photo taken at The Musée de la civilisation à Québec
A gallery featured photographs of Chinese Ghost Cities. China has been trying to keep their economy vibrant with all kinds of building projects. They have created whole cities just to keep people employed but more than 90% of the buildings in these cities are uninhabited.
City of Paris recreated in Tiangducheng China. Many couples who can’t afford to go to Paris get married in Tiangducheng. Hardly anyone actually lives there however. Photo by Ninon Pedault- La Presse My photo taken at The Musée de la civilisation à Québec
Replicas of Paris, London, Manhatten, Dubai and Florence have been built in China by Chinese construction workers but no one lives in them.
A Town to Populate by Karine Giboulo
In her installation A Town to Populate artist Karine Giboulo has created her own ghost city of skyscrapers, roads, houses and shopping malls but they don’t have any people in them. Visitors to the gallery are invited to take balls of modeling clay from bins near the exhibit and use the tools provided to create people for the town.
Lots of gallery visitors had taken on the artist’s challenge. Here is the little person I created for A Town To Populate.
Karine Giboulo has truly created a participatory installation that invites those who come to see her exhibit to be co-creators with her. Participatory art is an exciting new way cultural institutions are trying to engage their visitors and make their exhibits more relevant and meaningful.
Sunday Afternoon at the WAG
What Talent! Olympus Inspired Art.
Do you know what this is? I do from personal experience at Marion School in Winnipeg. This little wooden object is called a clapper and nuns who worked as teachers years ago used them to keep order and discipline. When the two pieces of hinged wood were ‘clapped together’ it made a sharp noise. I remember the clapper signaling the beginning and ending of the total silence during which we ate our lunch at Marion School. Making a noise could result in the clapper being ‘clapped’ quite close to your ear and perhaps even nipping a bit of skin.
I attended Marion School in St. Boniface when I was in grade one. Marion School was predominantly French although there was one English class for each grade. Most of our teachers were nuns and they all carried clappers in the pockets of their habits. I was scared of the clapper and on at least one occasion when I had been sent to stand in the corner for some offence, remember a sister coming by and clapping it repeatedly right next to my ear.
One of these clappers was on display at the Musée de la civilisation in Quebec City along with other disciplinary tools used by teaching nuns. I don’t know if I had ever seen a clapper since those long ago grade one days. But here was one again. Some people I have told about the clapper have declared it must be just a figment of my imagination. Now I have living proof that it was actually real .
Could I Have Been A Grey Nun?
The Nun’s Christmas