Remaking the Museum: Curation, Conservation, and Care in Times of Ecological Upheaval

Taking place at Denmark’s Moesgaard Museum, this two-day conference will explore the possibility of remaking of the museum as catalyst for social and environmental change in this geological epoch of our making: the Anthropocene.

2017.08.07 | Mia Korsbæk

Date Wed 06 Dec Thu 07 Dec
Time 09:00    17:00
Location Moesgård Museum, Moesgård Allé 15, 8270 Højbjerg, 4240, 301

In this time of entangled social and environmental crisis, the need to not only

reimagine but remake the museum has acquired new urgency. In response,

this two-day conference will bring together leading scholars and practitioners

to investigate the opportunities, challenges, and limits of the museum as a

catalyst for social change in this geological epoch of our making: the

Anthropocene. From the museum’s early modern origins to the development

of today’s highly heritage saturated public culture, the capacity of museums

and their objects to perform particular relationships between nature, culture,

and history has always been important—inviting critique from a variety of

political and theoretical vantage points. The emergence of the Anthropocene

as both a contested concept and concrete reality adds new layers of

complexity and intensity to this story.


What modes of collecting, classifying, conserving, and curating are called for

amidst this moment of unfolding change? How to actively reshape our

relations with contemporary ecologies of loss, profusion, and transformation

in a way that is both more affirmative and more just? What alternative

practices of curation and care flourish in the margins of official heritage

projects? How can we differently actualize what Tony Bennett long ago called

“the exhibitionary complex” in light of contemporary issues? And finally:

Given the museum’s problematic history, can it be salvaged as the vector of

its own remediation? Working across a wide range of historical, geographical,

and disciplinary contexts, scholars and practitioners will come together in

Denmark’s Moesgaard Museum to consider these important questions. Our

aim for the conference is not only to critique and deconstruct—important

tasks in their own right—but also chart a path forward for the museum as a

powerful force for world-making.

Read more about the conference on the website here.

Register for the conference here.