Displaying museum's neighbourhood: dwelling practices in the single-family house from 1945 until today. A participatory approach to an exhibition.
Cai-Olaf Wilgeroth (Museumsdorf Cloppenburg - Niedersächsisches Freilichtmuseum (Lower Saxonian Open-air Museum))
Paper short abstract:
The Lower Saxonian Open-Air Museum is studying the building and housing of families since 1945. The single-family house is not yet part of the museum's collections. Instead, a residential area next door will be researched and developed together with local residents as a real-life exhibition space.
Paper long abstract:
For an exhibition project, the Lower Saxonian open-air museum examines the family's way of life in their single-family houses from 1945 to present by means of the associated architecture, material culture and everyday experiences. But the single-family house is not yet part of the museum's collection. For the final exhibition, the museum therefore explores new paths: Instead of an architectional reconstruction on the museum grounds, a real neighboring residential area with single-family houses of different decades (1930-2015) will be made to the exhibition: For this purpose, museum scientists are exploring the area using historical and ethnographic methods. They focus on the development of buildings, the interiors, the design of the gardens, the neighborhood, the social and generational composition. Then, together with the inhabitants a presentation of the history and present of their own residential area will be developed, which will then be implemented on the streets and on the houses by exhibitional design means. The aim is to integrate the whole area by mediation elements, as well as to highlight individual examples of families and their houses. The research perspective and the self-perception of the inhabitants are to be combined in this way. How do the inhabitants react to the intended presentation of their everyday life, which they themselves consider to be not (yet) worthy for the museum? What happens in their self-perception if they are to become curators of their own life? And can the museum reliably fulfill its collection task by incorporating real, non-conservable contexts in its work?
Dwelling(s): museum practice meets ethnology