“Begin Within Story, Screen, and Museum Space...just like Alice...” by Kylie Message
This study is about the process of storytelling throughout an exhibition. Each exhibition has its own unique narrative to create and provide a relationship between the exhibition and the viewer. Throughout the article Message looks into the new technologies and the old traditional methods of exhibition and display, how the viewer engages with the different styles and the views or perspectives gained through each of these.
Kylie Message uses her vast knowledge to ask many different questions on museum and exhibitions. She questions how we display a story in an exhibition, how the viewers interact with the space, how the different kinds of exhibition can affect people differently. Asking why we go to exhibitions and what is the main motivation for this. She explains her experiences of exhibition design to answer these questions providing examples for each.
Message has spent a lot of time doing her own primary research looking at museum, exhibitions and cultural centres, watching how people react and interact with both the space and the actual exhibition being displayed. This article is produced to advise that exhibition designers do the same, taking into consideration the different styles of exhibition, the surrounding atmosphere and the narrative or story being told. Within this article she uses references from other authors for example, Jean-FranV ois Lyotard whom she used to exaggerate the idea and importance of the narrative of an exhibition along with Andrew Cameron who uses the example of the story of Alice in Wonderland to explain the process of travelling through a space and the hidden rules and conditions involved in this process.
This article explains the importance of needing to see how a viewer becomes immersed in an exhibition and therefore becomes a participant. She concludes that a narrative is a simple navigational device that should be used to tell the story but to also provide a link between the viewer and space causing them to react and form a relationship. Museums are responsible for this relationship between the story of an object and the people.
The reader of the article is assumed to have some basic knowledge on exhibition design as its main purpose it to give a deeper understanding of the underlying aspects of an exhibition or museum space. It is used to help the reader understand how exhibition designers need to consider how the times have changed moving to new technologies and styles of exhibition and display. These new ideas need to be taken into account, especially with how the viewers interact differently with the space now. Messages ideas need to be taken seriously as we can’t ignore the changing times in design of exhibitions. The need to get the viewer to engage with the place of display as well as the actual display is very important and should not be ignored when designing and exhibition space.
Kylie Message has written this article based on the viewer, taking their point of view into consideration. She has also, successfully, taken the exhibitionists point of view so they know how to change their displays and narrative to suit the needs of the current viewer’s ideas, aspiration and expectations when going to new exhibition or cultural centre.