Accepted Paper:

Dialogues: An Ethno-Aesthetic Experiment in Exhibition-Making  


Christian Vium (Aarhus University)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, I present and discuss my research-based exhibition 'Dialogues', which assembles material from my anthropological research project 'Temporal Dialogues'. I focus on the translation my research into an exhibition and the analytical affordances this has had on my ethnographic research.

Paper long abstract:

Temporal Dialogues is a research-based audio-visual exhibition in three chapters, comprising material produced during experimental interventionist and co-creative visual anthropological fieldwork among indigenous peoples in Central Australia (2014), the Brazilian Amazon (2015) and Northern Siberia (2017). Each chapter revolves around its own specific theme, but is based on a consistent visual anthropological methodology developed particularly for this project.

In each field-site, I repatriate a careful selection of canonical archive photographs produced in the period between 1867 and 1912 to the locations where they were originally made. Together with descendants of the people photographed I conduct in-depth photo-elicitation conversations, which serve as 'allegorical' scripts for our subsequent collaborative photographic 're-enactments' of some of the archival photographs. This method opens up an affective and reflexive space for cultural critique, in which my informants literally perform themselves through an embodied dialogue with their ancestors across time and in space. By juxtaposing the archival images with our new co-created photographs and comparing these across three dispersed field-sites, interesting similarities and differences become apparent.

Excerpts from the project have been exhibited in galleries, public spaces and museums in Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels, Copenhagen, London, New York, Paris, Sydney, and Tokyo among other places.

see for examples of my work

Panel P032
Museum Affordances: Collections, Interventions, Exhibitions