Re:Curate saw students from Levenshulme High School for Girls joining their teacher, Dena, Louise, John and myself in facilitating an immersive experience for visitors to the Egypt Gallery. I was particularly impressed with the maturity shown by the students in speaking to visitors about their work and in delivering a series of powerful creative performance pieces such as ‘Another TV Show’. This piece investigated the idea that, by repeated exposure through the media, people may be desensitized to seeing human remains.
These interventions were developed with the artist and the students over an eight week period. The artist, Dena Bagi, has researched the museum since December, meeting up for discussions with curators and researching the human remains debate. Dena is interested in the role of experimental curatorial practice in interpreting collections and objects. The students have taken part in a session with Cat Lumb, Lead Humanities Educator, around the question of human remains and investigated the use of contemporary exhibiting techniques in the museum’s Lindow Man exhibition.
From this the young people developed their own responses to human remains on display in the gallery and created interventions in the spaces. This enriched the debate about the display of human remains by bringing their ‘voices’ into the spaces and challenging museum visitors to consider this sensitive issue for themselves.