23 February 2022
Online, on Zoom
With Denise Pollini

In a 2018 interview, philosopher Boris Groys quotes a text he wrote in the early 1990s: “In one of my first texts, written in the same period as Über das Neue [1992], I wrote that I would not be surprised if one day, after a new revolution, curators would be hanged from lampposts in the same way as the French aristocracy, because they embody the same feudal order.”

Questioning the neutrality of museums is not new, but what one may observe is how revigorated this questioning seems to be. There is also another question: do museums, as we know them, have a future? The signs point out that we may be experiencing a new paradigm in society’s relationship with museums. What are the origins and components of these demands?

The seminar will address the following points:

  • “Museums are not Neutral”: a new paradigm?
  • Institutional critique and the death of museums;
  • The museum as a company; the museum as a factory; the museum as a forum;
  • Where does the money come from? Philanthropy and museum activism;
  • Inside-out and outside-in activism in museums;
  • “A Brief Reflection on Maps”: proposals for a future path


Denise Pollini was the coordinator of the Educational Service of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art between 2015 and 2021. Between 1999 and 2015, she held the same role at the Museum of Brazilian Art in São Paulo, Brazil. In her 22 years of professional career, she has conceived and coordinated educational projects aimed at schools, training for teachers, families and children, as well as initiatives in the field of social and intellectual inclusion. In the area of ​​programmes aimed at adults, she has developed numerous artistic mediation projects, as well as meetings, roundtables, conferences and seminars. She currently works as a researcher and consultant in the field of museum education and cultural mediation. She is an associate member of Acesso Cultura, Portugal.