Museum Show brings more than 20 semi-fictional institutional exhibits to Arnolfini

By Mark Sheerin | 29 September 2011
Colour photo of two curtained display stands in front of a blue wall
Guillaume Bijl,"Stemhokkenmuseum", (2000/2008). Collection S.M.A.K., Gent, Belgium© Dirk Pauwels/S.M.A.K.
Exhibition: The Museum Show Part 1, Arnolfini, Bristol, until November 19 2011

Just as Bristolians may be getting used to the arrival of M-Shed, more than 20 notable museums have also sprung up in the city. This is thanks to the nearby Arnolfini, which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

But Arnolfini’s feat becomes, if no less impressive, at least relatively feasible, when you consider that all these institutions are the semi-fictional creations of artists.

Just consider the size of some of the recent arrivals. La Galerie Légitime by Robert Filliou is based in a hat; the multi-storey Schubladenmuseum by Herbert Distil lives in a chest of drawers; and a museum which may or may not have been smuggled to the moon on behalf of Forrest Myers is the size of a credit card.

But ultimately not all of these establishments will fit in the one gallery. Marko Lulic has used rooftop signage to declare M-Shed to be a Museum of Revolutions. A World Agriculture Museum has been installed at the former Bridewell Police Station.

If that wasn't enough, visit Hengrove Park on October 9 when Museo Aero Solar will take off with the help of spectators. And from December, The Museum Show Part 2 comes back to Arnolfini with, incredibly, ten more civic attractions.

  • Open 11am-6pm Tuesday-Sunday. Admission free.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
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