Visual events and the friendly eye: modes of educating vision in new educational settings in Danish art galleries

Helene Illeris

Abstract


New, experimental educational settings such as ‘art laboratories’, ‘digital workshops’ and ‘theme-based tours’ are important to the processes of change towards more inclusive practices, which have been initiated in many Danish art galleries. While traditional gallery education was constructed in order to stimulate the ‘disciplined eye’ or the ‘aesthetic eye’ of the visitors, this article aims to discuss the practices of looking encouraged by contemporary and experimental educational projects. The first part of the article develops a theoretical perspective on educational settings conceived as visual events, and it discusses how ‘the desiring eye’ of some constructivist approaches, along with traditional practices of looking, have contributed to the formation of the modern, autonomous individual. The second part of the article analyses two cases from Danish art galleries and, inspired by Mieke Bal, proposes the ‘friendly eye’ as a possible dialogical and collective practice of looking that can be stimulated in educational settings.


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Copyright (c) 2015 Helene Illeris

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360