Making Contact in an exhibition zone: Displaying Contemporary cultural diversity in Donegal Ireland, through the installation of visual and material portraits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ‘museum as contact zone’ (Clifford 1997: 192) has been a concept that has
theoretically framed the inclusion of different cultures in museums. The contact
zone concept has been revisited, for example by Boast 2011. Further, the idea
of the ‘dialogic contact zone’ (Witcomb 2003; Bennett 2006) is used in relation
to exhibition communication techniques that aim to establish a dialogue on
cultural diversity between visitors, exhibitions and curators. This paper sets out
to reframe the contact zone concept, by considering both the nature and form of
contact in an exhibition. The method used is the practical curation of one
exhibition by the author in Ireland called Destination Donegal. The main
argument is that a curatorial production focused on individual people can create
an empathetic contact zone between individual subjects and visitors, achieved
through the non-verbal display language of art installation using multimedia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-67
Number of pages17
JournalMuseum and Society
Issue number ISSN 1479-8360
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


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