Curious Exotica (Ink on Paper)

  • Cambridge Scholars Publishing
  • 2016
  • 120
  • eng
  • Udgave er ikke defineret
  • 9781443887564

Ethnographic museums have been fundamentally reshaped during recent decades, acknowledging contemporary cultural practices, recognising aesthetic expressions and encouraging the active involvement of indigenous participants in all processes of museum creation and administration. Despite these efforts, however, this book reveals how the institution of the museum as such continues to be haunted by its previous, restrictive ideas of the other while talking about the self. It investigates the ethnographic object and its performance in museum displays, departing from notions of haunting as expressed by Jacques Derrida and Avery Gordon to think about presence and absence and the tension between object and text. The book argues that the tension between satisfying and dissatisfying informational needs is essential to the museum context, and that the objects on display have to be arranged in familiar patterns to be recognisable as material knowledge. As such, the ethnographic museum can be nothing else but a monument to its own history, and the ethnographic object remains trapped by the limitations of its category that is inseparable from the museum setting.