Museums in Crisis

How to make our practices more inclusive and create a “new museum”?


In a crisis, confusion prevails. In such moments, clarity, order and direction disappear and the situation seems somehow hopeless, without exit, no door in sight. Currently, at this moment in history, we experience a situation of this kind. 

We have been in crisis for a while – and when I say “we” I mean humanity, mankind, our species, but particularly our species in relation to everything else that exists: inorganic, organic, non-human.
The crisis manifested already for a while – we knew about it, we noticed it, we talked about it, we wanted to find solutions for it. But these attempts were, at best, half-hearted. They became a practice. It became fashionable to talk about the crisis and to ‘work’ with the crisis. It became normal to be in crisis. To search for solutions became an exercise, a method; it became our approach.

Perhaps it was not as important to find solutions that made a change than to try – without succeeding – to try while looking the other way, to try while not really trying, and to deny that individually we have a problem that concerns us collectively – us and the rest of the world.

To this day, we humans, particularly those of us under the value system of the West, are suffering from a fundamental misunderstanding: the conscious and unconscious separation of man and nature. We have created a struggle between us and everything else. We have practiced seeing humans as separate from the environment and culture as separate from nature and we have made this view an accepted truth. Slowly it is dawning on us that this foundation might not hold, that this understanding might cause trouble, and that it might need revision.

Naming is a problem. Other-than-humans, de-colonizing, interspecies coexistence, speciesism. We are word-wrangling, inventing new terms, replacing vocabulary, cutting up expressions and stitching them anew, while trying to see differently. But when we shift our view without shifting our position, we can only end up with the same artefacts: the same approach and a repeating dilemma.

More about this research. 


For the three podcasts, recorded in the autumn of 2020, Christina Stadlbauer invited three guests. The conversations explore artistic practices, speculate on how to encounter the world from a different perspective, and propose a museum of the future that might include decentralized, ephemeral and paradoxical experiences.


The podcasts were realized in the frame of Apass (apass.be)
Many thanks to Kirill Lorech (sound), Deborah Birch (text), and all mentors of Apass!