Abhidha Journal

Abhidha

Journal of Art, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage

Abhidha

Journal of Art, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage

Title:

Enhancing Museum Experiences : Curated Walks

Author:

Namrata Sarmah

Abstract:

The concept of curated walks in museums or heritage sites refers to an activity where visitors traverse the physical space occupied by the object(s) of interest, while being mediated by a guide or a curator. These walks allude to a three-way dialogue between the audience, the mediator and the object. This paper will investigate how curated walks and the dialogues they engender function in museum spaces, and what it entails for production, comprehension and consumption of knowledge about artefacts and heritage among visitors and curators alike. The crux of the exercise is to comprehend how visitors and curators understand and experience museums through curated walks, and how the meanings generated from this interaction are distinct from conventional modes of interactions occurring in museum spaces. The ways in which people derive meanings out of their interactions with their surroundings is immensely diverse, depending upon age, worldview, and socio-political and economic backgrounds. By focusing on the issues of spatial mobility in three case studies from New Delhi, this paper argues that museums need a gradual paradigm shift from directing people towards objects to allowing people to interact with objects in a free manner. The possibilities of engaging with spaces, or with objects, in their own terms would create a rich repository of human experiences for the audience within and without museums. Allowing a free-flowing network of conversations, dialogues and articulations would create a dynamic, inclusive and democratised curator-audience experience.