Features Festivals Published 17 June 2013

PULSE: Museum’s Secrets

Dancing about museums.

Daniel B. Yates

Our museum guides, from Made By Katie Green’s Dancing in Museums project, are very brusque and super-friendly – “hands on the wall”, we are instructed, to prop up the museum to help prevent it falling down and chuckles are roundly elicited by the idea, perhaps because it feels halfway plausible.

museum i

We are used to treating the museum as fragile space, what is preserved of history is preserved against us, walking examples of a perennially destructive species.

museum h

This museum has an old-fashioned way of categorisation, a Victorian collector impulse – here the bodies suggest a kind of interactivity which doesn’t rely on technology.

museum f

It relies on a simpler curiosity and a certain kind of bravery. They give us the feeling that everyone should dance about museums.

museum c

Lying in the footsteps of ancient monsters, foot prints from thousands of years ago – “now, now” our guides call, as time accelerates towards us.

museum d

“Where are you? “ “Where I am”.  Our guides call to one another. It’s possible to be lost in this jagged maze of natural and social history if you’re looking for a map, but not, we get the sense, if you bring yourself present to it.

museum g

 These performers reconfigure the museum without dumbing-down or being anti-intellectual, it’s a sweet triumph of bodies making question marks in time and space.

museum b

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Daniel B. Yates

Educated by the state, at LSE and Goldsmiths, Daniel co-founded Exeunt in late 2010. The Guardian has characterised his work as “breaking with critical tradition” while his writing on live culture &c has appeared in TimeOut London, i-D Magazine, Vice Magazine, and elsewhere. He lives and works in London E8, and is pleasant.

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