SHAKING UP THE MUSEUM
NICK Gray loves hanging out in museums and always goes in hoping the experience will be eye opening and exciting. That rarely happens. “Art museums and galleries are usually very boring,” Gray says. Which is why this former US techie decided to establish Museum Hack, a renegade museum tour company based in New York.
On these tours, Gray’s team of actors and educators encourage selfies, storytelling and spirited conversation, creating the kind of exciting vibe moviegoers get watching Ben Stiller in Night at the Museum. Tomorrow, at Melbourne Museum’s Creative State Summit, Gray himself will give a keynote speech describing how museums can “re-imagine” the way they engage visitors.
Can we call your organisation a “disrupter”?
We prefer the term “renegade”. At Museum Hack we aren’t trying to disrupt the museum industry or specific spaces. Just bring that renegade spirit to institutions that want to reach more people and offer them a new kind of experience.
How do your “renegade” tours unfold?
Our tours start and finish with a team cheer. And then we race off into the galleries. Throughout the tour, our renegade guides share stories about the art, artists and objects they are passionate about; stories you would never hear from the museum itself.
Are the museums happy about this?
We’ve had a positive response from the museums we tour. They’re excited about the new visitors we are bringing to their spaces.
NICK GRAY ON WHY “ART MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES ARE USUALLY VERY BORING”, TOMORROW, MELBOURNE MUSEUM, 3.35PM. creativestatetesummit.com
Ben Stiller in a scene from