Thinking on Sunday: Display It Like You Stole It – Museums and Ethics
In a country that’s repeatedly failed to come to terms with its colonial past, led by politicians who seem to think the past is the future, Alice Procter seeks to resist triumphalist nostalgia with art history. How did the narratives of Empire come into being? Who controls them? And how can we learn to see through the whitewash to the truth?
“Display it like you stole it” is a call for museums to rethink the politics of display in their galleries. From label text to lighting, how is ownership created and dissent shut down? Who is the authorial voice here, and what is considered worthy of inclusion? It’s well past time for museums to be honest about their acquisitions history and how objects arrive in their collections in the first place.
Alice Procter is a historian of material culture, with a BA in Art History and an MA in Anthropology, both at UCL. She has seven years of tour guiding experience at heritage sites and galleries, and curates exhibitions, organises events, makes podcasts and writes things under the umbrella of The Exhibitionist. She runs Uncomfortable Art Tours around the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Britain and the Queen’s House (National Maritime Museum).
Her academic work concentrated on the intersections of postcolonial art practice and colonial material culture, settler storytelling, the concept of whiteness in the 18th and 19th centuries, the curation of historical trauma, and myths of national identity. Her MA researched new modes of dissenting narrative in museum spaces.
Alice is the author of The Whole Picture (Octopus).
** This event will be held ONLINE. Please register using the “Book Now” link.
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Price: Free (Donation suggested): GBP 0.00
Artist / Speaker: Alice Procter
Category: Attractions / Talks and Lectures