The Experience of Art

Juliet Steyn (City University London)
Download the full paper here (PDF).

My particular concern is to explore and question prevailing notions of experience and how these percolate into our expectations and indeed assumptions about art and the institutions that house it. I am continually struck by the ever increasing prevalence of art and museum exhibitions in which the visitor — in the name of ‘accessible experience’ — is encapsulated in and by the works on display, as display. Many thinkers across history have felt compelled to think and write about experience revealing, as Martin Jay’s study, Songs of Experience, amply demonstrates, multiple and contradictory meanings.


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