The signage, part of the work and a nod to contemporary museum culture, includes the title in a type font referencing René Magritte's 'Ceci n'est pas une pipe.' French for "This is not a pipe," the 1929 painting also challenged preconditioned perceptions in art. Photo Credit: Amelia Nura

Emerie Snyder (Brooklyn, NY)

April 2019. Audio tour recorded on cassette tape; museum collection cassette player, fabric, modified wood frame. 13 min 45 secs. Dimensions variable.

An object-led, participatory tour, This is Not a Museum Tour focuses on works of “Not Art” in the museum collection. Visitors are invited to experience a 14-minute tour, personally led by a friendly vintage Fisher Price tape cassette player named Maggie. The tour can be experienced by groups of one to 15 visitors at a time.

By asking visitors to playfully accept the guidance of an inanimate object, Snyder’s work opens the door to new ways of engaging with Elsewhere’s space and collections. Lines are intentionally blurred between audience and performer, object and person, art and not art. Themes explored through this piece include layering of collections, memories, and time; shared storytelling; and personification of objects.

In designing this site-specific audio theatrical museum experience, the artist combined her expertise as a theatre director/creator, her ongoing fascination with art history, and her early background as a teenage museum docent. This project is an iteration of EXHIBIT, Snyder’s ongoing series of performances in the form of gallery tours. Previous iterations of EXHIBIT include an audio tour for solo visitors at the Brooklyn Museum, and a tour with live guides/performers at the “Works on Water” exhibition presented by New Georges and 3-Legged Dog Art & Technology Center in Manhattan.

Above: Visitors take the This is Not a Museum Tour with Tape Player, Maggie. 

Process

Above: Snyder writes script for This is Not a Museum Tour and records on cassette tape in a DIY sound booth.