The ligatures of life

Communication design and difficult exhibitions

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

The increase of ‘difficult’ exhibitions within contemporary exhibiting marks a significant shift in the way communities tell their stories. Upending the more traditional, heroic narratives of nationhood, difficult exhibitions speak of genocide, gender violence, contested histories, war or death, presenting unique pedagogical challenges for exhibitors and visitors alike. Despite the availability of related literature from a wide range of disciplines, the contribution from Communication Design has been negligible–even more so from a practice-led perspective. Addressing this gap via a methodological bricolage, ‘The Ligatures of Life’ frames the difficult exhibition as a performance of ideology, employing multimodal, semiotic resources as its actors. This research has questioned the role of the designer across four distinct projects for the non-profit organisation, PROOF: Media for Social Justice: Broken?, Unearthed: Stories of Courage in the Face of Sexual Violence, Picturing Moral Courage: The Rescuers, and Ferguson Voices: Disrupting the Frame. In order to better understand the designer’s role and establish a model of best practice, an interpretive model has been developed that combines critical hermeneutics with social semiotic, multimodal analysis. The CHaSSMM Model has shown significant value in fostering a critical distance between the designer and practice, revealing underlying power structures, and assisting in the articulation of tacit knowledge between an exhibition’s team.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Woodward, Margaret, Principal Supervisor
  • Bremner, Craig, Co-Supervisor
Award date03 Apr 2019
Place of PublicationPort Macquarie
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2019

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communication
semiotics
non-profit-organization
genocide
hermeneutics
sexual violence
social justice
best practice
ideology
violence
death
narrative
gender
history
resources
community
performance
literature

Cite this

Wahlin, Willhemina E.. / The ligatures of life : Communication design and difficult exhibitions. Port Macquarie : Charles Sturt University, 2019. 222 p.
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title = "The ligatures of life: Communication design and difficult exhibitions",
abstract = "The increase of ‘difficult’ exhibitions within contemporary exhibiting marks a significant shift in the way communities tell their stories. Upending the more traditional, heroic narratives of nationhood, difficult exhibitions speak of genocide, gender violence, contested histories, war or death, presenting unique pedagogical challenges for exhibitors and visitors alike. Despite the availability of related literature from a wide range of disciplines, the contribution from Communication Design has been negligible–even more so from a practice-led perspective. Addressing this gap via a methodological bricolage, ‘The Ligatures of Life’ frames the difficult exhibition as a performance of ideology, employing multimodal, semiotic resources as its actors. This research has questioned the role of the designer across four distinct projects for the non-profit organisation, PROOF: Media for Social Justice: Broken?, Unearthed: Stories of Courage in the Face of Sexual Violence, Picturing Moral Courage: The Rescuers, and Ferguson Voices: Disrupting the Frame. In order to better understand the designer’s role and establish a model of best practice, an interpretive model has been developed that combines critical hermeneutics with social semiotic, multimodal analysis. The CHaSSMM Model has shown significant value in fostering a critical distance between the designer and practice, revealing underlying power structures, and assisting in the articulation of tacit knowledge between an exhibition’s team.",
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author = "Wahlin, {Willhemina E.}",
year = "2019",
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Wahlin, WE 2019, 'The ligatures of life: Communication design and difficult exhibitions', Doctor of Philosophy, Charles Sturt University, Port Macquarie.

The ligatures of life : Communication design and difficult exhibitions. / Wahlin, Willhemina E.

Port Macquarie : Charles Sturt University, 2019. 222 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

TY - THES

T1 - The ligatures of life

T2 - Communication design and difficult exhibitions

AU - Wahlin, Willhemina E.

PY - 2019/4/21

Y1 - 2019/4/21

N2 - The increase of ‘difficult’ exhibitions within contemporary exhibiting marks a significant shift in the way communities tell their stories. Upending the more traditional, heroic narratives of nationhood, difficult exhibitions speak of genocide, gender violence, contested histories, war or death, presenting unique pedagogical challenges for exhibitors and visitors alike. Despite the availability of related literature from a wide range of disciplines, the contribution from Communication Design has been negligible–even more so from a practice-led perspective. Addressing this gap via a methodological bricolage, ‘The Ligatures of Life’ frames the difficult exhibition as a performance of ideology, employing multimodal, semiotic resources as its actors. This research has questioned the role of the designer across four distinct projects for the non-profit organisation, PROOF: Media for Social Justice: Broken?, Unearthed: Stories of Courage in the Face of Sexual Violence, Picturing Moral Courage: The Rescuers, and Ferguson Voices: Disrupting the Frame. In order to better understand the designer’s role and establish a model of best practice, an interpretive model has been developed that combines critical hermeneutics with social semiotic, multimodal analysis. The CHaSSMM Model has shown significant value in fostering a critical distance between the designer and practice, revealing underlying power structures, and assisting in the articulation of tacit knowledge between an exhibition’s team.

AB - The increase of ‘difficult’ exhibitions within contemporary exhibiting marks a significant shift in the way communities tell their stories. Upending the more traditional, heroic narratives of nationhood, difficult exhibitions speak of genocide, gender violence, contested histories, war or death, presenting unique pedagogical challenges for exhibitors and visitors alike. Despite the availability of related literature from a wide range of disciplines, the contribution from Communication Design has been negligible–even more so from a practice-led perspective. Addressing this gap via a methodological bricolage, ‘The Ligatures of Life’ frames the difficult exhibition as a performance of ideology, employing multimodal, semiotic resources as its actors. This research has questioned the role of the designer across four distinct projects for the non-profit organisation, PROOF: Media for Social Justice: Broken?, Unearthed: Stories of Courage in the Face of Sexual Violence, Picturing Moral Courage: The Rescuers, and Ferguson Voices: Disrupting the Frame. In order to better understand the designer’s role and establish a model of best practice, an interpretive model has been developed that combines critical hermeneutics with social semiotic, multimodal analysis. The CHaSSMM Model has shown significant value in fostering a critical distance between the designer and practice, revealing underlying power structures, and assisting in the articulation of tacit knowledge between an exhibition’s team.

KW - difficult exhibition design

KW - Difficult exhibitions

KW - Communication design

KW - social semiotics

KW - critical hermeneutics

KW - new museology

KW - post new museology

KW - PROOF: Media for Social Justice

UR - https://www.ligaturesoflife.com/

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

PB - Charles Sturt University

CY - Port Macquarie

ER -

Wahlin WE. The ligatures of life: Communication design and difficult exhibitions. Port Macquarie: Charles Sturt University, 2019. 222 p.