The 'Inter-Disciplined' Exhibition - A Case Study

Henriette Pleiger


This article contributes to the analysis and transparency of the practical processes of interdisciplinary exhibition-making. It identifies the academic discourse on interdisciplinarity as having the potential to provide a meaningful input to the formation of theory on temporary exhibition-making. The subject of enquiry is a recent case study from Germany. It investigates the relationships and decision-making processes that underpinned the production of the interdisciplinary exhibition Weather Report – About Weather Culture and Climate Science (Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, 2017/18), which combined curatorial perspectives from the fields of art, cultural history and science. It traces the curatorial process, from forming an interdisciplinary team and negotiating conceptual ideas and methods, to object choices, interpretation and exhibition design. I argue that the complexity of interdisciplinary exhibition-making calls for a more precise and practice-oriented application of what is an often generalized notion of interdisciplinarity. By discerning between multi-, inter- and transdisciplinarity, and understanding the three terms as offering different qualities of interaction and integration, I suggest using these terms as a finer vocabulary for a detailed description and analysis of the practical processes of collaborative exhibition-making. Taking interdisciplinarity seriously also inevitably leads to the question of institutional consequences. 


Exhibition-making; interdisciplinarity; museum practice; curating; art and science; climate change

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Copyright (c) 2020 Henriette Pleiger

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360