House Museum as Viral Museum: On Mahmoud Khaled’s ‘The Unknown Crying Man Museum’ Project

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This essay examines the Unknown Crying Man Museum, a temporary and roaming ‘house museum’ developed by the contemporary Egyptian artist Mahmoud Khaled as a conceptual artwork. House museology is a specific practice within the wider field of museology and curating, it plays a formative pedagogical and political role in statecraft. The paper discusses how the project espouses the mechanisms of this museology to develop a narrative that engages visitors with the issue of sexual orientation that still remains culturally and politically sensitive in Egypt. The project can be considered a specific example of artist-curatorship in which curatorial methodologies and approaches are derived from the work of artists working in the 1990s, in particular the work of Félix González-Torres. From González-Torres, the project adopts a tactical approach that is inclusive but also viral, and applies it to activate and transmit ideas that are not usually associated with house museums.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalResearch in Arts and Education
Issue number3/2020
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Viral art tactics
  • House Museology
  • Memorials to the Unknown
  • Artist as Curator
  • Jacques Derrida

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