Big deal

But why is it stripy?

MúzeumCafé 36.

The tenth Big Deal has welcomed artists in Miskolc Gallery with the walls painted in stripes. If not liked, they could be covered. Yet, the stripes had a purpose – they symbolised the project’s content. Miskolc Gallery has held museum education sessions since 2001, but we launched a really daring experiment, “Big Deal”, five years ago. We wondered how far it would be possible to fully match an exhibition to visitors’ requirements, while remaining within the boundaries of a museum’s professional mission. Museum education in a contemporary art venue focuses on the knowledge and interpretation of the ways of expressions in visual art. The director of the gallery gave almost complete freedom to basically transform the usual system of holding a Big Deal exhibition. Generally a curator stages an exhibition, then the museum education specialists connect it to various events and sessions. It is very rare for the representatives of these two fields to work together, whereby educational aspects are included in a planned exhibition from the very beginning. We have entirely reversed the process for the sake of effect. With us a preference is given to art educational inspiration in the curator’s tasks. We assemble themes that interest students and can be linked to the school syllabus, and to match those we create an exhibition, or rather a show, by selecting from the works of contemporary artists. Every six months a theme is scrutinized based on the suggestions of artists and students. The past five years have seen 167 exhibited works by 77 Hungarian contemporary artists, and 450 sessions with 9,000 participants. As for the stripes, they did not need repainting white and so have remained. All works well with them.