The deadlock of museum images and multisensoriality

Nassia Chourmouziadi

Punctum, 3(1): 45-56, 2017
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2017.0005


Musealisation as tool for collective memory management, constitutes a violent intervention in the social life of material objects, which –among other things- transforms them into almost exclusively visual stimuli. This loss of materiality contravenes the consolidated museum practice that is based on the tangible evidence of ‘authentic’ objects, as well as its undoubted educational mission. I argue that the triptych ‘protection – authenticity – learning’ that has been the ontological base of modern museum is characterized by inherent contradictions. Therefore, any attempt to re-determine museum practice should re-examine it. In this vein of thought, it is imperative to challenge vision’s domination, using something more than limited naïve dashes of other sensorial stimuli, that leave intact the dominant visual approach. In other words, I argue that multisensorial museum experience can threaten traditional museum’s ontological features, and, therefore, can lead to a ‘new’ museum that will act principally as ‘public space’, and secondly, as the protector of a collection of dead things.

KEYWORDS: museums, multisensoriality, museum education
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