I don’t know where paradise is: queer paths through museums and libraries
Ramsay, Benjamin Matthew
Ramsay, Benny Nemerofsky
This dissertation charts the research and creation of a body of artistic work that dialogues with the domestic spaces, private libraries, and kinship bonds of a group of looselyconnected gay cultural and intellectual figures based in Amsterdam, London, Montreal and Paris. The artistic output, which takes form chiefly through the scripting and production of audio guides, is accompanied by floral, epistolary, and participatory works that aim to accentuate the epistemological potential of affect. The creative process is followed and accompanied by an examination of the museum audio guide as a media form, turning to queer theory as well as contemporary museum mediation practice to expand and critically reimagine its potential. Both the artistic research and dissertation are driven by two separate yet intertwined questions: How might queer social and cultural practices influence a repurposing of the museum audio guide? How can museum mediation practice be used in the service of encountering, animating and recirculating queer historical material? These questions are traversed through an exploration of phenomenological and musicological concerns, as well as artistic research concerned with queering, participation, and cruising.