Museum Show Part 2


Opening: 8th December 2011
Fri 9 Dec – Sun 5 Feb

16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA


Museum Show: Part 2

9 December 2011 – 5 February 2012



Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind (Khalil Rabah), Danger Museum (Øyvind Renberg & Miho Shimizu), The Museum of American Art, Museo Salinas (Vicente Razo), Museum of Non-Participation (Karen Mirza & Brad Butler), Museum of Television Culture (Jaime Davidovich), Victoria and Alferd Museum (Åbäke), Hu Xiangquian’s Museum (Hu Xiangquian), Museum of Forgotten History (Maarten Vanden Eynde), Museum of Incest (Simon Fujiwara).

Following on from Part 1 (24 September – 19 November) is the second chapter of Arnolfini’s Museum Show, a major historical survey of museums created by artists. Museum Show – a “museum of museums” perhaps – presents a comprehensive selection of these highly idiosyncratic, semi-fictional institutions. It is the first ever exhibition to chart this particular tendency in contemporary art.

Museum Show across its two chapters presents museums by approximately 40 artists from across the spectrum of career status, from canonical to emerging, and from around the globe. The exhibition will look at the different interpretations of what a museum can be, whilst charting the methodologies and reasons used by artists for creating their own institutions – ranging historically from critique directed towards institutions of art, to more contemporary examples that focus their attention towards wider social and political realms of cultural hegemony.

Museum Show Part 2 an ambitious series of installations, including The Museum of American Art, charting the dominance of American art and ideologies from the 50s and 60s in Europe, and Khalil Rabah’s Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind reconsiders the “ethnographic” framings of non-Western cultures in museums. Whereas Museo Salinas by Vicente features a baroque and delirious collection of Mexican memorabilia — plastic toys, piñatas, masks, stickers, clothing, and other items — related to the controversial image of Mexico’s ex-president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, derided for his corruption.

Museum Show Part 2 is also the final exhibition as part of Arnolfini’s 50th anniversary programme. As part of this year-long 50th anniversary programme, Arnolfini has worked with the research theme of The Apparatus, reflecting on the conditions of the art system today.

Press Preview – Museum Show Part 2

Thursday 8December, 2pm – 4pm

The Unmasking of Art

Lecture by Walter Benjamin

The renowned theorist will give an art historical lecture looking at the lead up to the birth of modernism.



Followed by the Preview


The Apparatus is a year-long project running throughout 2011, to mark Arnolfini’s 50th anniversary. This series of exhibitions and events will focus on the conditions of the art world today, particularly its systems of belief and valuation, its role within society, and its relationship to the wider political economy. The Apparatus is about the ‘makings of’ artists, of artworks, of institutions, and of a cultural infrastructure.

For further exhibition information/images contact:

Rob Webster, Marketing Manager T: 0117 917 2315 E: or

Suzanne Gaved, Marketing Coordinator T: 0117 917 2316 E:

Arnolfini is open Tues – Sun, 11am – 6pm and Bank Holiday Mondays. Admission free.

16 Narrow Quay, Bristol UK BS1 4QA.

T +44 (0)117 917 2300 / 01