the upside-down museum

practice-based institutional critique, working up from the actual museum floor by Aldo Giannotti.


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In defiant response to the mechanisms, habits, and status of the museum, artist Aldo Giannotti’s concepts and props, initially conceived in sketchbooks, transform into tangible institutional realities, reshaping the museum’s social and spatial architecture and sometimes literally breaking its walls. This realignment establishes accountability, on the spot and without holding back, to meet real needs.

This is a practice-based institutional critique based in ongoing, in-person practice, working up from the actual floor. Through dialogue with the museum staff, guards, and visitors, Giannotti develops an inclusive engagement with the institution and its underlying purpose.

The book surveys numerous cases and obstacles that threaten the sustainability of long-standing habits in museology. It emphasizes working on the ground rather than from office spaces, focusing on accountability in the very spaces where the museum functions. It presents a challenge to the art world, offers insight to those who passively endorse the existing order of public art, and serves as a mediator between current art workers and outdated art systems.

“This book arrives at a critical moment when museums, their traditional systems, structures, codes, and how they value their greatest assets –the people who work within and the people who visit them–demand critical reflection and expansive reimagining, practically and conceptually in radically changing times.” 

Wendy Woon,
artist, NYU Visual Arts Administration faculty member, and former education director at The MoMA, New York; the MCA Chicago; and Art Gallery of Hamilton. 

“Aldo Giannotti is a subversive artist disguised as a draftsman. He uses humor (drawing & performance) as a wake up call.
Wake up!”

Dan Perjovschi,
artist, writer, cartoonist


  • Typehardcover
  • Dimensions170 x 210 mm / 6.69 x 8.28 inches (portrait)
  • Pages160
  • ISBN978-90-833501-7-2
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Release date20231221
  • Bindingflexibinding
  • PaperLessebo Zero Offset
  • Edition1750
  • Colorblack + pms 2995U
  • PrinterPlatform P, Rotterdam (NL)
  • FontInclusive Sans by Olivia King
  • Image specs110 b/w images
  • Detailsrounded corners of the cover, soft-touch varnish