Embodying Artistic Process in Art Gallery Visits
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In this chapter, we explore the ways in which visitors make meaning in art museums. Drawing on sociocultural and embodied perspectives, we explore visitor interactions with artworks in two galleries, the Courtauld Gallery in London, UK, and the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design in Oslo, Norway. Attending to visitor interactions, we examine what they talk about and how they talk about it, in relation to each other and to the gallery resources. We focus specifically on the embodied ways in which the artist and the artistic process become relevant features of visitors’ meaning making. By foregrounding embodiment in the artistic process, we wish to contribute to a deeper understanding of how bodily ways of knowing and communicating contribute to meaning-making processes with art in museums. We extend this line of research by highlighting the roles of visitors’ own bodies as interpretive resources and the ways that they are used to introduce or to foreground the creative processes of the artist.