Material Difficulties: Objects and Narratives which DISTURB and AFFECT

Posted: November 26, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Tonight’s seminar should be right up my street!

Material Difficulties: Objects and Narratives which DISTURB and AFFECT… presented by the Dean of the CSAD, I’d better behave then… ahem…

 The museologist Gaynor Kavanagh argues that museums must develop their “emotional literacy”, which accord­ing to her, means allowing the museum both to laugh and to cry together with its visitors, both to resist and to embrace the rage, bitterness, and confusion that is part of the trauma.

This al­so means taking up well thought-out stances and asking oneself what one wants and can achieve by making painful experiences public.
The unpleasant and troublesome aspect does not just concern human relations, but can also refer to objects which for various reasons arouse emotional resistance in museum officials.
This can be, for example, political symbols, human re­mains, sexually charged objects, or things that are defined by many people as “rubbish“.
Objects DETECTING DIFFICULT Y like this have been accompanied by turnabouts, manoeuvres, and conflicts in the museums, in some cases generating entertaining stories, a few of which are recorded in this book.

The drawers of an individual curator’s desk have often been a haven for things that are far too problematic, while awaiting more favourable times.

Further article here (2005) pages 8 & 9


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