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Communicating Architecture Through the Medium of the Exhibition Communiquer l'architecture par le média exposition

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Author(s): Marie Élizabeth Laberge

Journal: MediaTropes
ISSN 1913-6005

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 82;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: exhibition as media | architectural exhibition | communication of architecture | architectural project | curator | visitor

ABSTRACT
When analysed as a form of media, exhibitions need to be considered from three different perspectives : that of the person producing the message (curator), that of the person receiving it (visitor) and that of the exhibitionary apparatus itself (through the various mise-en-scène strategies employed). This article examines two different ways of thinking about the communication of architecture in the exhibitionary setting. In the first example, which is also the more traditional, the use of the term architecture generally refers to the building, and the curator endeavours to communicate through the medium of the exhibition both the material and experiential aspects of the building. Over the past two decades, a different approach has been employed within the exhibition venue: that of conceptualising architecture not only as a building, but also as a project. This newer approach takes into account aspects such as the generative idea, the creative process, and the many different forms of representation of the building under investigation. Exhibitions focusing on the ideas and creative processes underlying architecture have become common in recent curatorship, with the effect that architecture is increasingly presented in exhibitionary settings as a practice rather than as a historical or theoretical field. The author concludes by explaining that, from the perspective of communication theory, both forms of architectural exhibition neglect their audiences, and consequently the full potential of the exhibition as a form of media is seldom reached.Aborder l’exposition comme média implique de considérer le point de vue du producteur (commissaire), celui du récepteur (visiteur) et celui de l’exposition (à travers les moyens employés et l’aspect de l’architecture communiqué). Deux manières d’envisager la communication de l’architecture au musée sont abordées. Pour la première, et selon nous la plus ancienne, le terme architecture est pris au sens de bâtiment. Les commissaires tentent alors de transmettre à la fois l’expérience et la matérialité du bâtiment. Pour la seconde manière, apparue ces vingt dernières années, c’est plutôt le projet architectural (idée, processus, bâtiment et représentations) que l’on communique. La communication de l’idée et du processus semble être une tendance forte qui cible la pratique architecturale. Cette réflexion critique mène au constat suivant : d’un point de vue communicationnel, l’exposition d’architecture oublie trop souvent de considérer son destinataire, et les commissaires n’utilisent donc pas son plein potentiel comme média.
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