The utopia of a worldmuseum: transcending borders between European and Non-European collections
Helmut Groschwitz (Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities)
Start time:
23 June, 2015 at 14:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

A lot of ethnological museums all over Europa were renamed to "world museums", but still lack European collections. We have to ask: what could be "world culture", how can we represent an entangled history and transculturality and how can we transcend the borders between the collections.

Long abstract:

The postcolonial approches led the European ethnological museums to a crisis of legitimation and a transformation process, connected with new concepts of exhibitions and new names. Very common are the "world museums" (i.e. Rotterdam, Göteborg, Leiden, Vienna, Basel, Cologne, Frankfurt). Simultaneously they furtheron lack European collections, perpetuating the colonial regimes of the gaze between "We and the Others". There is no way to maintain the distinction between Europe and Non-Europe, as contemporary research stresses on concepts of an entangled history, global art studies and transculturality. Europe can't be thought without Out-of-Europe, also the european view is enrolled within noneuropean artefacts, sometimes by production, always by the mode of collection, exploration and presentation. It's hardly possible to understand artefacts without these entanglements. The panels wants to collect papers on the possibilities, how to show these transcultural aspects in the museums? How can we re-contextualize and re-interrogate the historical, more or less accidental, non-representative collections? How do we deal with the "implicit" european references? How can we tell the joint narratives within the artefacts and thereby connect european and non-european collections? What may be a "world culture" and how could we represent it within the museum?