MUSEUM SEMIOTICS : a new approach to museum communication

SEMIOTICS TEACHES PEOPLE THINGS THEY ALREADY KNOW IN A LANGUAGE THEY CANNOT UNDERSTAND – Paddy Whannel

The theoretical possibility of a semiotic approach to the Museum phenomenon seen as a process of communication and signification, the consequences on the determination of the social function of museums in its semantic and pragmatic levels.
It proposes a new discipline for the field – that of “Museum Semiotics”, as a theoretical background and a tool for the understanding of museums as “semiosic spaces”, acting in the cultural process through their “communicative actions”. A study of the specific Museum Language defining its terms and concepts, and considering museum objects as bearing a “sign-function”, as “signifying units” used in the construction of messages and “discourses”, manifested or hidden in museum exhibitions.
The mechanisms of the process of sign production and of sign interpretation in the Museum context, the concept of “museality”, the Museum “mythological speech”, the interplay of codes and the interaction between emitters and receivers in the museum communication process.

KEY POINTS for our study:

  • Denotation-Connotation = “Denotation” refers to literal meaning of something, real meaning. “Connotation” refers to idea of that something. What does that make u to think.
  • Simulacra = Examines the relationships among reality, symbols, and society. Can use it for simulation  of reality in museum.
  • Place-Non place =  “Non places” refers to places which does not have any history or meaning in our lifes. The purpose for our museum can be make it a place which has a meaning and soul for people.
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