Studio 12: Curating Interiors: The Studio Becoming Museum

Helena Bonett

This studio explores key concepts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries – from questions of knowledge, history and nationhood, through to authenticity, agency and value – by means of an exploration of the particular interiors worked in by artists, makers and other practitioners. In particular, it looks at what happens when these ever-changing studio spaces are preserved and curated into museums. Through drawing out key examples of such interiors each week and analysing these spaces in relation to significant theoretical and philosophical texts (as well as using film as a philosophical tool), we will explore together how to critically read interiors and how such spaces can themselves be a means of unlocking new ways of thinking.

Seminar outline

  1. Introduction: Studio and Museum
  2. History and method: Dorich House Museum, London
  3. Knowledge and value: Flat Time House, London; Eva Hesse’s studiowork and a Montana homestead
  4. Haunting and agency: Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, St Ives, Cornwall and the Freud Museum, London
  5. Authenticity and the original: Francis Bacon studio at The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin and Constantin Brancusi studio outside the Centre Pompidou, Paris
  6. Legacy and nationhood: Black Audio Film Collective studio, London
  7. Presentations

Suggested reading

  • Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958), trans. by Maria Jolas, foreword by John R. Stilgoe (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999)
  • Daniel Buren, The Function of the Studio (1971), trans. by Thomas Repensek, October, 10 (Autumn 1979), 51–58
  • Daniel Buren, Function of the Museum [extract] (1970), in Theories of Contemporary Art, ed. by Richard Hertz (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1985), pp.189–90
  • Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1980), trans. and foreword by Brian Massumi (London and New York: Continuum, 2004)
  • Brian O’Doherty, Studio and Cube: On the Relationship Between Where Art is Made and Where Art is Displayed (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007)

Films to watch

  • Alfred Hitchcock (dir.), Vertigo (1958)
  • Alfred Hitchcock (dir.), Rebecca (1940)

Studio Image by Helena Bonett. Banner image: Hans Op de Beeck, Staging Silence (3), video still (detail), 2019

A collage of Archive/Studio Images


Tutor Helena Bonett

Dissertation Studios 2021–22