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Museums as conflict zones or contact zones*

- a seminar on the role of art museums in de-colonial times

2019.06.28 | Betina Ramm

Date Fri 13 Sep
Time 13:00 17:00
Location Preben Hornung Stuen, Aarhus University

Curator and professor Maria Lind has stated that art museums are much more stable institutions than the other art institutions because they have collections. Collections legitimatise art museums as preservers of culture in society.  

However, collections also reveal disruption and disjuncture between the past and the present: Policies of collecting art in the past collide with issues of today concerning repatriation, representation and unsettled conflicts such as who has the right to the art objects and how to display them.

This seminar will look into how art museums can open up to dialogue and discussion and thereby become more active and involved in today’s essential issues such as migration, restitution and changing responsibilities towards the past.


* From James Clifford: Routes: Travel, and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century, Harvard University Press, 1997




Dr. Clémentine Deliss (Professor of Theory and History, University of Fine Arts, Hamburg, independent curator, and former director of Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt):

Occupy Collections! on access, circulation, and interdisciplinary experimentation, or the urgency of remediating ethnographic collections (before it really is too late).


Jérémie M McGowan (artist, designer and director of Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, Norway with a PhD in art history and theory from the University of Edinburgh):

Jérémie M McGowan will present the Sami Art Museum (2017). A museum performance that manifested the demand for alternative histories in order to transform museum spaces, roles and methodologies.

Anna Vestergaard Jørgensen (curator and ph.d. student at SMK & KU):

"Please do it for me? Affective labour in (de)colonial exhibitions" Are art museums free from responsibility when they cooperate with contemporary artists and invite them to use their artistic freedom?

Participation is free but registration is necessary. Sign up here:


The seminar is organized and financed by the national Danish Center for Museum Research, Research Programme in Museology, Aarhus University and Contemporary Aesthetics and Technology, Aarhus University.

Seminar, Museologisk forskningsprogram, Contemporary Aesthetics and Technology, Kunsthistorie, Æstetik & Kultur og Museologi