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Post-connoisseurial dystopia and the profusion of things

this ‘drain’ has occurred as cost analyses have been carried out, such as one UK museum service calculating that building additional storage space costs £1,000 per square metre.13 Such neo-liberal framing, which emphasises ‘accountability’ in primarily auditable economic terms, and which continually seeks ways of ‘making effective’ and ‘increasing profit’ according to such terms, has certainly also shaped the sense that museums have a profusion problem. Austerity politics, with its prioritising of cutting costs above all else, of ‘lean efficiency’, has sharpened this

in Curatopia

difficult histories are inadequately understood. Partnerships between collections staff, universitybased researchers and community members are now all the more critical to sustain understandings of the present and potential significances of remarkable expressions of past human creativity. But museums cannot mobilise those collaborations without some core, in-house capacity, which has in too many institutions been hollowed out as a result of both austerity and misguided approaches to museum management. Secondly, we need a profoundly nuanced approach to the heterogeneity of

in Curatopia
Foe, facilitator, friend or forsaken?

of facilitation and the role of the curator as an expert within the forum. There is a need for a more nuanced understanding of the role of contemporary curatorship, especially in the context of increasing expectations of community engagement and decreasing resources to support museological work. The current climate of austerity in the UK threatens the future of specialist curatorship and collections. In recent years, owing in part to economic and social changes, there has been a move away from the presumed Community engagement, Indigenous heritage need for

in Curatopia
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The words ‘lunatic asylum’ conjure up images of imposing grey facades hiding white-washed corridors echoing with the torment of unwilling denizens. The popular association of these buildings with austerity and grimness has a long history. When an asylum was constructed outside the Irish town of Enniscorthy in Co. Wexford in the mid-nineteenth century, the surprisingly ornate architectural features of the institution gave rise to a local story. The story holds that the red-brick Italianate asylum building overlooking the picturesque

in An archaeology of lunacy
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’s elevation of the provincial Irish asylum cupolas was annotated to suggest that shutters on the side of the tower may be adjusted open or closed (Irish Architectural Archive Murray Collection 0092/046–0132). However, rather than acting as an imposing ‘ocule’, the cupola may rather be seen as a symbol of asylum – and civic – authority, lending a degree of austerity and institutional power to the building when viewed from outside, as well as serving as a reminder to those viewers inside of authority within. The cupola as an architectural indicator of power and the panoptic

in An archaeology of lunacy