I like to compare the process of organizing a large-scale museum exhibition like Tim Burton to the process of producing a film. (What can I say, I’m a film person!) You start with an idea, and then research the subject as if you were writing a script—in the case of a gallery show, this means determining what art, objects, media, and documentation are available, and how they can most effectively be used to tell a “story.” Ideally, you want your interpretation of the materials to seem fresh and relevant to a contemporary audience. Typically you negotiate for the loan of materials to your show from various archives around the world—sort of like signing “stars” to a film—and then work with teams of exhibition designers, graphic artists, lighting technicians, A/V folks, carpenters, and so forth to bring your show to life in a gallery, just as the director and producers collaborate with a production department on the lot of a film studio during the making of a movie.
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