Mette Houlberg Rung

Theme: Sensorial Knowledge

Walking, Looking and Longing

This presentation takes its starting point in an extensive empirical research project conducted at at the National Gallery of Denmark, investigating what happens when visitors enter this designed exhibition space. How do they move around? Why do they choose to stop and engage with particular places while quickly passing others? In short, how does their experience unfold? It reveals how the concepts of Tim Ingold make it possible to look at visitor engagement in exhibitions from a new perspective. Video footage and reflective interviews document visitors’ attentative state of being, and it is argued that visitors are driven by a fundamental urge “to be grabbed,” as one informant described it. 

Mette Houlberg Rung has a background in art history and holds a PhD from Leicester University. She works as a researcher and art interpreter at the National Gallery of Denmark. Her research areas include museology, visitor studies and aesthetic experiences. Besides research, Rung is engaged in planning, designing and producing temporal exhibitions and permanent galleries at the National Gallery.