This master thesis explores ways that mediations in the “Open Workshop” of the Museum Rietberg, Zurichs Museum for non-European Art, take a proactive role in facilitating public discourse. Its processes are viewed ontologically alongside Richard Sennett’s character of “The Craftsman”. Roles and agencies of participants in workshop activities are questioned. The artefacts made in the curatorial setting of the Open Workshop constitute the materialisation of adopted cultural agency, the integrity of which becomes the responsibility of the participants.
The master thesis concludes that the museum’s function is the care, use and creation of public narrative artefacts, and the workshop is a channel for public access to expertise in the disciplined, responsive use of its tools. By introducing visitors to methods of weaving narratives with artefacts, they become active participants in the central activity of the museum and an avenue for assuming an effective agency in the critical public discourse of cultural narratives.
Mentorin: Dr. Nora Landkammer
Ko-Referent: Paolo Bianchi