Artists seeking to address how ideology inflects culture often begin by working close to home, engaging the very institutions within which their work appears. When evaluating the museum, they ask how modes of classification and forms of display impact audiences' encounters with art (or objects found in other types of museums) and therefore their understandings of it. They also show that the museum is part of the larger culture, one type of institution among many, and is thus informed by the beliefs and values that shape society. Artists who take up questions related specifically to museum practice provide some of the primary evidence for how institutional critique often enlists strategies of appropriation. By borrowing the visual and textual languages of museums themselves—the natural history diorama, the period room re-creation, or the museum docent tour—they shed light on aspects of the circumscribed realm of art while also making explicit the bridges between those institutions and the power structures, hierarchies, and ethics of society at large.

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citation for this page
"Museum." Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology Digital Archive. Los Angeles: Hammer Museum, 2017. https://​​take-it-or-leave-it/​art/​themes/​museum/​.