See for Yourself

See for Yourself - image by Sylvia McFadden

2011

Non-visual exercise

As part of a partnership with the Portland Art Museum and the Art & Social Practice MFA program at Portland State University, Carmen Papalia produced a one-on-one tour experience in which one of his Portland-based friends subjectively described art objects, architectural details, and other museum visitors to a participant who agreed to shut their eyes and follow their guide’s lead. The practice privileges the describer’s subjective knowledge and models a relational, embodied viewing experience for the participant; highlighting access points that are often overlooked when relying on a visual or art historical frame of reference. Since its first iteration, See for Yourself has been conducted at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, and the Vancouver Art Gallery; with groups ranging from youth participants to museum staff members serving as describers.

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