(Re)Localisation: Off-Site Exhibitions and Post-Internet Sacrality after Civilising Rituals by Carol Duncan
Carol Duncan’s seminal text Civilising Rituals (1995) considers state museums as active, ritualized settings of social performance through analysis of their historical development. Following Duncan’s thesis, this essay shall introduce the concept of ‘off-site’ projects, which construct their own paradigm of sacrality by restaging art outside of institutional contexts. Since the 2020-2021 lockdowns, alternative curatorial platforms have begun to emerge online which utilise such strategies to reclaim collective autonomy. As a proto-case study, I shall begin with ‘The Kitchen Show’ (1991) by Hans Ulrich Obrist, to discuss how this earlier ‘relational turn’ anticipated a more recent tendency towards self-organization. Further, I aim to examine how these initiatives appropriate museological structures whilst displacing them.