The notion of exhibiting cultures is related to cultural representation in cultural anthropology and ethnography, as well as to the interpretive (~interpretation) turn of anthropology. The term appeared in the 1990s as the new, analytical concept of critical museum studies.  Exhibiting cultures means, on the one hand, a critical attitude towards exhibition practices; on the other hand, it refers to the analytical and authorial understanding of these practices (~authorship). Subsequently, an exhibition is a complex work that can be read as a text; it is a layered spatial and visual system with significations. The exhibition is also a work that is both the object and the subject of museological research and museum studies (that is, theory, methodology, and practice). The reflexive thinking behind exhibiting cultures was not exceptional, nor was it a fundamental novelty in the 1990s, both in the contexts of museums of socio-anthropology and museums of art (~exhibition display ~white cube ~interpretation ~new museology). Rather, this term can be thought of as a differentiation of concepts within museum studies, which, due to its multidisciplinary characteristics, allowed for new aspects of analysis. Anglo-Saxon museum studies condensed this critical and authorial attitude in the concept of exhibiting cultures.
For the emergence of exhibiting cultures, one has to also consider the conceptual and/or appropriation-based, critical (often radical) art practices in the 1960s, targeting the institutions of museums and galleries  (~exhibition display ~white cube). In cultural anthropology and ethnography the role and the position of the author (who writes analytical essays, makes exhibitions) likewise changed in the 1970s. Concurrently, the certainties with regards to genres also started to dissipate;  concepts were realigned, new scientific paradigms were built besides previous approaches. It was within this transformation that critique, reflection, and “turn” (Wende) paved their way, which primarily placed the role of interpretation and representation at the center of attention and the critique of cultural studies (~interpretation).
Exhibiting cultures refers primarily in the case of museums and gallery spaces to the spatial transformation of display (spatial turn) (~exhibition display) as well as to visual methodologies (visual display). However, on the level of practice, it signifies the new praxis and viewpoint of exhibition-making—which is pronouncedly more than mere visuality. This transition, thus, cannot be identified solely as the processes pertaining to the physical site of exhibition spaces. Just as in the case of texts, the linguistic turn does not mean only a rhetorical change; instead, it denotes a new way and discourse of critical thinking. It is, however, discernable that for both visitors and for experts the alterations of exhibition culture is most easily identified in formal changes. It is clear that exhibition-making as a deliberate editorial gesture (which can be made visible) does not only modify the physical space of the exhibition, but also the correlated signal system of exhibitions, exhibition-making, and museological knowledge. It, thus, shapes institutional praxis in its entirety (~new museology).
Research tendencies that likewise affect all parts of the museum are also connected to exhibiting cultures: this concerns the critical analysis of collections, the rearrangement of permanent exhibitions, or formulating the issues of critical cultural studies within the museum/exhibition space. Yet, in all cases, this is made with the acknowledgment of the authorial/editorial/curatorial position and influence. (~interpretation ~exhibition display ~authorship). Exhibiting culture, thus, refers to the deployment of such text-like methodological strategies in the museum/exhibition, which have substantially shaped in the last 20 or 30 years the discourses of art and cultural studies outside the museum.
Exhibiting cultures, nonetheless, is not only the above-mentioned components, one by one, and it is not their sum, either. Rather, this interpretive concept signifies a debate in cultural studies/anthropology/literature: the “creation” of cultural otherness through writing (writing culture),  the crisis of cultural representation, and a critical and self-reflexive scientific response to this crisis.  These conceptual changes took place, for the most part, within writing in the field of anthropology and cultural studies ; whereas, in the case of museums with collections or galleries without collections, these alterations occurred mostly in the exhibition’s narrative structure, translated to the space and to a visual language.
In the case of art museums, art practices of institutional critique profoundly affected this shift. With socio-anthropological museums, the role of the curator as researcher—and a producer who creates meaning—is foregrounded. (~authorship, ~interpretation ~curatorial). Consequently, museums of socio-anthropology and art began to integrate the concerns of these methodological changes into their exhibition praxes, with the discursive presentation of creators, authors, and concepts, through which these became apparent visually (~exhibition display ~discursivity). Hence, the museum is no longer only the place of grand narratives, but also the subjective site of questions, doubts, and alternative understandings, which allow for new and more democratic practices to emerge. (~discursivity ~participation ~collaboration).
Concomitantly, (and perhaps also as a result), museums and exhibitions became—beyond praxis (the theory, methodology, and practice of science)—the object and subject of critical analysis. Through these inquiries, exhibiting cultures integrated into the theoretical field of social and cultural studies, as well as to artistic and curatorial approach.
References and Further Readings
 Karp, Ivan – Lavine, Steven D. ed 1991 Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. Washington, London, Smithsonian Institution Press.
 Raunig, Gerald – Ray, Gene eds. 2009 Art and Contemporary Critical Practice: Reinventing Institutional Critique. London, MayFlyBooks. www.mayflybooks.org. Web. 2013. jún. 10. http://mayflybooks.org/?page_id=20
 See Clifford Geertz’s notion of “blurred genres”
 Clifford – Marcus ed. 1986 Writing Culture. The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berekley, Los Angeles, London, University of California Press
 Gottowik 1997 Konstruktionen des Anderen: Clifford Geertz und die Kriese der ethnographischen Repräsentation. Berlin, Reimer; James, Allison – Hockey, Jenny – Dawson, Andrew eds. 1997 After Writing Culture. Epistemology and Praxis in Contemporary Anthropology. London, New York, Routledge
 Bachmann-Medick 1992 ’Writing Culture’ – ein diskurs zwischen Ethnologie und Literaturwissenschaft. Kea. Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaft, 4/1992, 1-20. o.,Fuchs, Martin – Berg, Eberhard 1993 Phänomenologie der Differenz. Reflexionsstufen etnographischer Repräsentation. In: Kultur, soziale Praxis, Text. Die Krise des etnographischen Repräsentation. Hrsg. Berg, Ebenhardt – Fuchs, Martin, Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp, 1993, 11-108., Bachmann-Medick Hrsg. 1998 Kultur als Text. Die anthropologische Wende in der Literaturwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main, Fischer,Shelton 1999 Unsettling the Meaning: Critical Museology, Art, and Anthropologycal Discourse. Focaal, 34/1994, 143-162.