The museum has long been a space for seeing and hearing visitors, and communication inside a museum is completely accessible to those who can see and hear well. This summer, Co-Thinkers invite Garage visitors to reconsider the way we explore art and rediscover the broad range of perspectives possible in a contemporary museum. Co-thinkers are four Garage visitors who represent different modes of spectatorship and have taken part in the preparation of the exhibition. Working on the project, they looked into how art is discussed and presented, and explored new possible ways of making museum an inclusive space. If Co-Thinkers is the most extraordinary of Garage’s projects in summer 2016, Co-Thinker’s Tour is the most experimental part of it. The format of the tour is chosen by the guide: it can be a tour in sign language with scriptwriter Polina Sineva, or a tour with a blindfold by a regular attendant of tours for the blind, journalist Elena Fedoseeva.
Specially for Co-Thinkers, Garage will revive it Mediators project. Garage Mediators. Season 2 will be tailored for visitors with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. Mediators are art enthusiasts who have completed a three-month training course to become intermediaries between Garage visitors and artworks on show in the museum. They first appeared in Garage a year ago, right after the opening of the new building, and were very popular with Garage visitors. Some of the have now completed a two-month training course developed by one of the “co-thinkers” Elizaveta Morozova and will be taking part in the second season of the project. The focus on communication inherent in Garage Mediators program is especially important for visitors with autism spectrum disorders. Due to differences in perception and communication, children and adults with autism might find it difficult to engage in a conversation with another person, especially in a public space, so a mediator will become an interesting companion that can help them feel at home in the museum, while developing his or her own mediation skills.
The range of different perspectives on art, possible in a museum, will be further explored in a debate club for seeing, visually impaired and blind teens, who will compare visual and tactile experiences of an artwork.
On weekends, deaf, hearing and hard of hearing visitors are invited to visit Garage with their family. Discussing works in sign language, they will try to find answers for the questions posed by the artists. Our younger visitors are welcome to take part in open workshops with a sign-language tutor, while their parents can join them after the tour.
Visitors can book an individual or group tour of Garage exhibitions for convenient date and time. Tours for visually and hearing impaired visitors are also available.