[In these upcoming reviews, I’ll be highlighting books, podcasts, exhibitions, periodicals, and other items that I think are of particular interest to curators and those concerned with curatorial issues.]

Ideas is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s premier radio programme of contemporary thought. Their podcast highlights the best of the Ideas programmes. You can subscribe to the RSS feed for their podcast here. Their latest podcast release is a fascinating lecture by cultural critic Adam Gopnik entitled: To Sit or to Talk?.

Adam Gopnik discusses the future of museums by pondering a question that he recently asked his kids: Do you prefer theatres, where you can sit? Or museums, where you can talk? Gopnik was delivering the 2006 Eva Holtby Lecture at the Royal Ontario Museum.

His lecture discusses the evolution of musuems, from (as he puts it, in his very alliterative way) the mausoleum, to the machine, to the metaphor/mall. The lecture is an easy listen, and the evolution he speaks of is well delineated. My only contention with what he says is that it is all a little too neat, too pat. He is keen to isolate the museum into these stages of development, but it is clear that all three stages he speaks of still exist and share the same environment within which to survive. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on his lecture.

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