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Samtal: Michael Barrett & Matt Smith

Textile Subtexts

Talks: Michael Barrett and Matt Smith
Wednesday November 23rd, 6 pm
Talks will be held in English

As a part of the Textile Subtexts exhibition events programme, cultural anthropologist Michael Barrett and artist and curator Matt Smith, will discuss ways of reimagining history and the organisation of museums.

Michael Barrett will speak about textile in a global historical context, and how textile patterns, values and meanings are transformed and translated across geographies and time periods. But also how some meanings attached to textile patterns are not translated across geographies or not transformed over time; how some boundaries are stubbornly upheld, and how textiles retain certain core meanings or subtexts often to do with power, gender and race.

Matt Smith will discuss museums as reflections of the societies within which they exist. Something that places those who don’t see themselves reflected in the work of the museums, into the realm of the unreal. Drawing on a number of projects, Matt Smith will explore how curatorial practice in England silences LGBT experiences and how this might be addressed using techniques of institutional critique and artist intervention.

The lecture is included in the admission 50 sek.


Michael Barrett is a cultural anthropologist and curator for Africa at the Museums of World Culture in Sweden. He curates exhibitions, archives and public programs relating to the cultures and societies of the African continent and the African Diaspora. His research interests include the history of collections, migration, global fashion, materialities of African religions, and art and subjectivity in colonial archives.

Matt Smith is an artist and curator.  Solo exhibitions include Queering the Museum at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (2010-11) and Other Stories at the University of Leeds (2012).  In 2015/16 he was Artist in residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
He received a practice-based PhD in Queer Craft from the University of Brighton, is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies and is Guest Lecturer at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Craft and Design.