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Disruptive conservation in the material transmission of past to future

Sweetnam, Eleanor and Henderson, Jane ORCID: 2023. Disruptive conservation in the material transmission of past to future. Presented at: Representing Pasts – Visioning Futures, 1-3 December 2022. Published in: Erk, Gul Kacmaz ed. Representing Pasts - Visioning Futures. AMPS Proceedings AMPS, pp. 100-111.

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When objects move into museums, the location and nature of their associated power shifts. For example, a confederate statue may be removed from the public square and placed in a museum to ‘neutralise’ its symbolism. The symbolism of the statue is mediated by this curated public space, and the power shifts and changes in form, passing in some form to the museum impacting on all acts of its operations from the staff to its reputation. When an object is ‘collected’ during an imperial conquest that transference is not simply a matter of the location of the art but rather it is symbolic of the destruction of a culture and the dominance of another.1 Removing the power of association of things to place is a symbol of control and domination and is an act intimately connected with colonialism. Museums use objects to transmit stories,when those stories tell stories of violence and oppression those who work in museums must consider this in their actions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: conservation, question, understand, change, disruptive conservation
Publisher: AMPS
ISBN: 2398-9467
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 September 2023
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2023 11:15

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