Beyond Words: Labels and the Power of Shaping of Narratives

The article delves into the transformative role of labels in art exhibitions, highlighting their evolution from simple classification tools to integral components of artworks. Fred Wilson’s groundbreaking interventions challenged conventional museum practices by emphasising diverse narratives and the importance of transparency in storytelling. The Dresden State Art Collections’ initiative to modify titles to address content issues reflects a commitment to accuracy and cultural sensitivity in the presentation of art.

By exploring the power of labels to shape narratives, promote inclusivity, and deepen understanding of cultural artefacts within institutional contexts, the article underscores the significance of these textual elements in the art world. It discusses how labels have become more than just informational tools, serving as extensions of artworks that invite interpretation and reflect the perspectives of artists. The critical examination of labels in recent decades has sparked discussions among academics and artists, highlighting the complex role these textual components play in enhancing the viewer’s experience and enriching the discourse surrounding art.

Through the lens of Fred Wilson’s innovative approach and the Dresden State Art Collections’ modifications, the article emphasises the pivotal role labels play in guiding viewers, challenging institutional norms, and fostering a more inclusive and transparent presentation of art within museum settings. It underscores the importance of labels as tools for communication, interpretation, and cultural sensitivity in the ever-evolving landscape of art exhibition practices.

Heritage Preservation, Inclusion & Accessibility
Chiara Ianeselli
Germany, Germany
Museology, Collections, Postcolonialism, Conceptual Art
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