The live museum: from mausoleum to theme park


  • David Pérez Pérez Universidad Complutense de Madrid


live arts, exhibition, cultural devices, museum mediation, curatorship, neoliberalism, globalisation, performativity, interaction, experientiality


This article explores the growing acceptance of the cultural framework of the live arts in contemporary art museums through the paradigm of the live museum. A trend that has spread over the last decade through exhibitions that add performance art and choreography to the portfolio of temporary exhibitions and parallel activities of many art institutions. The intangibility, temporality and direct interaction with the audience of these initiatives highlight new curatorial strategies that question the spatial environment of the exhibition, the objectual logic of the artistic work and the status of the archive as a document of history, placing the body and live action at the centre of the exhibition metabolism.

Taking these exhibitions as a starting point, the article reflects on the web of mediations and intermediations that have stimulated the museum's mortuary economy, linked to the memorial function of the mausoleum, towards a celebratory vindication of the experience associated with the recreational figure of the theme park. In order to explore this feature of the late-modern landscape, an approach to the performativity of live art exhibitions is posited, combining a topological reading of the museum's domiciliations with a biopolitical and performative reading that addresses the relationships that strain the exhibition medium with the experiential and cognitive regime of global neoliberalism.