Gestaltning av det förflutna : berättelser i museiutställningar
Portraying the past : narrative in museum exhibitions
Summary, in Swedish
The theoretical foundation of our thesis is the postmodern theory. We focus on the part of the theory that emphasises on the deconstruction of metanarratives and on the notion that knowledge and history are subjectively constructed. To understand how narratives are created in historical exhibitions and how they can retroact on museum visitors we use two different explanatory models: literary theorist Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht’s distinction between meaning effects and presence effects, and a model to expose the layering of time in exhibitions.
Our results indicate that postmodernism is visible in the practice of exhibitions; as well in the reasoning when planning exhibitions as in the communication to the visitors in existing exhibitions. A consequence of this, we argue, is that text material and other semiotic tools, along with different interpretations and a multitude of perspectives on phenomena, risk constituting the foundations of museum exhibitions instead of being a tool to understand the exhibition. Drawn to extremes this may result in visitors not acquiring the core of the narrated history. However, there seems to be a shift in focus regarding the production of exhibitions, from interpretations and perspectives to the actual objects in the exhibitions. This shift in focus does not exclude interpretations. The shift indicates a reaction against the postmodern attitude towards history, and a progression to a post-postmodernism where presence effects are favoured. A way to achieve these effects are by applying multimedia solutions, where visitors can choose from a range of different media by which they can interact with exhibitions. To make the past relevant to visitors, exhibition producers try to connect the past to present phenomena as well as connect the stories told to an emotive level.
- Cultural Sciences
- exhibition medium
- permanent exhibition
- historical exhibition
- historisk utställning
- Pernilla Rasmussen