Follow me into the temple of art: on the multiple performance of museum guide practices

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Lai, Chia-Ling

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Current studies on art and museums, paying little attention on the long lasting but recently transformed practices of multiple museum guide services' from panel introductions, guidebooks, personal guides to the audio-visual guides, fail to explore how the significant intermediate dimensions intervene not only the museum installation but also its consumption and reception. This research analyses the historical development of guidebooks to its current technological form performed by audio guides, due to the social trends embodied in multiplication of senses, human and non-human hybridisation, time-space flexibility and cultural industrialisation; and also its multiple uses by different visitors, considering the speed of the visit, human and non-human relationship as well as visitor's capital accessible to the exhibition based on one current case study. Drawing upon Actor-Network Theory, Bourdieu's theory of practice and Urry's theory of multiple mobilities, this study concerns how guide services perform as the tool of regulation when providing freedom and individualised mobile options. Based on "Splendor of the Baroque and Beyond: Great Habsburg Collectors- Masterpieces from the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna" exhibition held in the National Palace Museum in Taipei in 2007-8, this research not only explores the production of museum's multiple guide services by interviews and discourse analyses of guides concerning the tempo, sound and the control of references, but also how different visitors appropriate various guide services based on in-depth interviews and fieldwork in the museum.