Bruno Brulon Soares is Professor of Museology at Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) and Professor in the Post-Graduate Program in Museology and Heritage (UNIRIO/ MAST) in Brazil. He was coordinator of the course of Museology at UNIRIO between 2014 and 2016, and he currently coordinates the Research Group Experimental Museology and Image (MEI). He is currently Chair at ICOM International Committee for Museology (ICOFOM) and he coordinates the ICOM Special Project Museums, Community Action and Decolonization. He has held the position of Vice Chair at ICOFOM and, between 2014 and 2019, he coordinated the project History of Museology, an ICOFOM project supported by UNIRIO, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, École du Louvre and Russian State University for the Humanities – RGGU. He has written multiple papers for ICOFOM including “Rupture and continuity: the future of tradition in museology” (2020), “Every museum has a God, or God is in every museum?” (2019), and “Museums and the enchantment of places: deconstructing the urban landscape of Rio de Janeiro” (2019). He also co-wrote “Museology in Colonial Contexts: A Сall for Decolonisation of Museum Theory” (2018) with ICOFOM Vice-Chair Anna Leshchenko. He is editor of A History of Museology: Key authors of museological theory (2019), and co-editor of Defining the Museum of the Twenty-First Century – Evolving Multiculturalism in Museums in the United States (2019) with Yun Shun Susie Chung and Leshchenko.
Notes on the Experimental Museum: Reflections for Undisciplined Museum Practice and Theory
The talk proposes that museum and heritage studies, in a postcolonial perspective, need to reconsider human experience as a central element for decolonisation. Beyond the outdated desire to be recognised as a “science” in modern terms, museology today faces the challenge of serving different subjects and social groups in constant friction with the modern project of the “museum.” In this sense, I will defend that this known discipline, attached to the human sciences, needs to be decentred and undisciplined by incorporating unsubordinated knowledges and disobedient practices in museums outside of the scope of normative museology. In the margins of the “scientific” field, dominated by the coloniality of knowledge, museums and museology can reinvent themselves through new methods for teaching and learning based on experiences that cannot be captured nor apprehended by rational thinking. In this perspective, the experimental museum is less rational and more relational, affected by the pluriversality of knowledges, subjects and experience that may work for its own decolonisation.