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Abstracts 2015/1
Abstracts 2014/2
Abstracts 2014/1
Abstracts 2013/2
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Abstracts 2012/2
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Abstracts 2010/2
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Abstracts 2007/2
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Summaries 2005/2
Summaries 2005/1
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Summaries 2000/2
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Summaries 1999/1
Summaries 1998/2
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1995/2 All texts in English
Summaries 1995/1
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Summaries 1993/2
Summaries 1993/1

2017/1 Abstracts

From Nordisk Museologi 2017 • 1, s. 5–20

Marzia Varutti *

Title: Mannequins, history and memory in museums.
Insights from the Northern European and East-Asian contexts

Abstract:What are the rationale, significance and implications of the use of
reproductions of the human body in contemporary historical museums? This article
probes this question through a critical analysis of diverse uses of body simulacra
– specifically mannequins and life-size figures – in historical museums in Taiwan
and China. The discussion of the East-Asian case study is set against examples
from historical representations of the body in Northern Europe as a way to offer a
comparative perspective that casts light on the uniqueness and similarities among
these geo-cultural areas. This material enables me to reflect on the changing and
diverse roles of mannequins in historical displays – in Western (North European)
and non-Western contexts – ranging from materializations of the national past,
its heroes and martyrs, aiming to canonize History as distant and authoritative, to
display devices that strive to generate personal understandings of the past through
memories and emotions.

Keywords: Past, memory, mannequins, museums, Taiwan.

* Marzia Varutti, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Museology and Cultural Heritage

Adresse: University of Oslo, IKOS – Department of Culture Studies and
Oriental Languages, Postboks 1010 Blindern
NO-0315 Oslo, Norway


From Nordisk Museologi 2017 • 1, s. 21–36

Anne Folke Henningsen *

Title: Performance and politics of authenticity in live ethnographic exhibitions

Abstract: In the summer 2010 a small group of Namibians visited Denmark in
order to present and disseminate knowledge of the so-called Bushman culture in
an experimental archaeological park outside Copenhagen. The staging of the event
was in many ways similar to the kind of display that has been termed “human zoo”
or “live ethnographic exhibition”, so popular in the nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries, but there were also significant differences to be found. The discourse of
cultural and racial authenticity that informed the live ethnographic exhibitions a
hundred years ago was also called upon in the performances in 2010. However, the
political and to a certain extent the exhibition contexts were different, as were the
possibilities of appropriating long-lasting and pervasive ideas of “Bushman-ness”
to various political ends. In this article, the effects of the recent recurrence of this
practice of live ethnographic exhibitions are analysed through concepts such as
authenticity and coevalness and their wider political potentialities are discussed.

Key words: Live ethnographic exhibitions, authenticity, ethno-politics, San
people, Sagnlandet Lejre.

* Anne Folke Henningsen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Ethnology

Address: Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen, Karen Blixens Plads 8,
DK-2300 Copenhagen, Denmark

E-mail: folke@hum.ku.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2017 • 1, s. 37–57

Anne-Sofie Hjemdahl *

Title: Facing skeletons
Reflections on three Stone Age portraits

Abstract: The discussions in this article relate to the already existing literature
about bodies in museum exhibitions and the tension between humanization
and dehumanization, individualization and objectification. It approaches the
archaeological exhibition practice called “forensic art”. Forensic art means giving
a face and identity to human skeletons through specific methods. The point of
departure is three different reconstructions based on the remains of two Stone Age
women presented at two different museums, one in Norway and one in Sweden,
from the beginning of the 1990s until 2006. These reconstructions are highlighted
here as entangled and related objects. The article explores the tensions that arise
between bodies as scientific objects and as individualized subjects and the tensions
that occur between bodies as facts and as fiction. In addition, it examines the
work of faces in museum exhibitions and discusses how race seems to be an issue,
albeit not communicated nor discussed with the audience. At the same time, race
is narrated into the reconstructed faces and becomes a bodily fact the audience
meets physically.

Key words: Reconstructions, faces, forensic art, knowledge production, human
remains, museum facts.

* Anne-Sofie Hjemdahl, Ph.D., Museologi, Senior advisor for cultural heritage,
The Norwegian Road Departement

Adresse: Fagerlia 41, NO-3011 Drammen, Norway

E-mail: as.hjemdahl@gmail.com

From Nordisk Museologi 2017 • 1, s. 58–72

Silje Opdahl Mathisen *

Title: Still standing
On the use of dioramas and mannequins in Sámi exhibitions

Abstract: This article is about the use of dioramas in Sámi exhibitions. The author
discusses the use of a specific exhibition technique where a mannequin and a
taxidermied reindeer are grouped together, and often placed in an illusionary winter
landscape. She has named this the Lappish Equipage. This form of representation
has a long history both inside and outside museums, and it can be found in both
Sámi and ethnic Norwegian and Swedish museums. The author discusses how this
diorama works, and how its chequered past through appearances in various types
of exhibitions makes it problematic to use in contemporary museum exhibitions
about the Sámi. On the other hand, the author also points out that if the Lappish
Equipage is re-framed and re-contextualized, and its exhibition history is
consciously activated, the Lappish Equipage has a potential to work as a contact
point between Sámi history and visitors in the museums today.

Key words: Dioramas, mannequins, taxidermy, representations of the Sámi,
indigenous museums.

* Silje Opdahl Mathisen, Ph.D., Head engineer

Adresse: University of Oslo, Museum of Cultural, History, Department of Archaeology, Fredriksgate 2, NO-0164 Oslo, Norway

E-mail: s.o.mathisen@khm.uio.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2017 • 1, s. 73–89

Bjørn Sverre Hol Haugen *

Title: Museums, dress and time

Abstract: This article presents work on dress-related time perspectives in a number
of museums. First, a couple of Scandinavian museums are scrutinized. Catalogues,
research and exhibitions show how the issue of dress is handled along two parallel
lines. The understanding of folk connects dress to place, and the understanding of
fashion connects dress to temporality. Over the last few years, dress research has
challenged this paradigm. The exhibition Power of Fashion at Nordiska Museet
exemplifies how new ideas are transferred from research to exhibition. The second
part of this article presents some alternative discussions of museums, dress and
time, supported by the concept of multiple temporalities. Based on this discussion,
the article looks at exhibitions of historic dress in some European and American
museums. Finally, the article suggests how inspiration from fashion exhibitions
and the concepts of multiple temporalities can be useful when exhibiting historic

Keywords: Museums, dress, folk dress, fashion, costume and multiple

* Bjørn Sverre Hol Haugen, ph.d., førsteamanuensis II, Universitetet i Oslo

Adresse:Førstekonservator, Anno Museum, Postboks 117, N–2401 Elverum, Norge

E-mail: Bjorn.Sverre.Hol.Haugen@annomuseum.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2017 • 1, s. 90–105

Peter van der Meijden *

Title: Fluxus art amusement and the museum of gags
Objectification and bafflement, encounter and engagement at the museum

Abstract: When museums are mentioned in connection with art that as a critical
strategy generates primary bodily experience, it is usually to claim that they are
incompatible. However, both museums and artists have developed new strategies
to deal with the changing times. This article seeks to re-evaluate the claim that
museums will always treat works as objects by comparing Fluxus works and their
staging by Fluxus organiser George Maciunas to examples of newer work that
seeks a similar kind of interaction with the viewer. The solution they suggest is
documentation of the way a primary audience interacted with the work in order
to make it available to the (secondary) museum audience. Current models of
museum viewing tend to be oriented towards experience or data retrieval. The
alternative, it is argued, is a museum that draws attention to the historicity,
specificity and authoredness of the viewing situation. A museum that no longer
distinguishes between artwork and mise-en-scène, but wants to document both.
A museum that bridges the gap between the professional roles it performs and
uses all the physical and communicative spaces at its disposal to make available
the type of communication that the artwork originally sought to establish to a
contemporary audience.

Keywords: Fluxus, museums, bodily knowledge, experience, George Brecht, Tim
Etchells, George Maciunas, Carsten Höller, Henry Flynt, experience economy,
web 2.0.

* Peter van der Meijden, Ph.D., external lecturer

Adresse: Københavns Universitet, Karen Blixens Vej 1, DK-2300 København S, Denmark

E-mail: pmeijden@hum.ku.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2017 . 1, s. 106-122

Theis Vallø Madsen *

Title: Museum presence. An attempt to map what cannot be mapped

Abstract: Presence has become a new object of study within architecture, literature,
art, anthropology, and museology. Theorists have described presence as a state of
being lost in focused intensity, an attitude towards history as an ongoing process,
and as a newfound interest in the materiality of collections and the museum
space. In this article, the work on mapping a small historical museum in Denmark
makes use of presence theory in a(n) (futile) attempt to represent the embodied
experience of museum space including time, movements, atmosphere, and presence
effects. This article introduces a provisional counterintuitive method – in this case
mapping presence – in order to point to those qualities of the museum which are
often overlooked. The cumbersome presence is here considered to be a logical,
predictable and static object of study. In this specific case, the counterintuitive
method will attempt to get a hold of presence using one of the most uncreative
and conventional parts of the museum institution: the museum map. The article’s
map draws on Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze and Guattari’s mapping, Gumbrecht’s
descriptions of presence, Böhme’s distinction between Realität and Wirklichkeit,
and Ingold’s meshwork, lines, and knots in order to point to potential zones of
presence in the museum.

Keywords: Presence, atmosphere, mapping, milieu, museum map, counterintuitive
method, materiality, phenomenology, meshwork.

* Theis Vallø Madsen, ph.d., postdoc

Adresse: Faaborg Museum, Grønnegade 75, DK-5600 Faaborg, Danmark
Syddansk Universitet, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Danmark

E-mail: theis@faaborgmuseum.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2017 • 1, s. 123–131

Peter Dragsbo *

Title: National and ethnic minorities in museums

Abstract: In the discussions of the representation of the numerous “new” ethnic,
religious, gender and cultural minorities, the “old” national and ethnic minorities
sometimes seem to be a little forgotten. Thus, some of the crucial questions of
these minorities in relation to museums are rarely discussed. One of these is the
tendency of many minority museums to formalize stereotypes of the minority, a
so-to-say self- “folklorization”. At the same time respecting the importance of a
minority to master its self-presentation through museums, the museums have a
common challenge to include the outside world, being aware that every minority is
also a product of historical processes, short and long distance influences, meeting
and mixture of cultures, changing identities and shifts in self-symbolization. Also,
the minorities must accept that majority museums have a right and duty to tell
the history of the minorities, thus cooperating with the minority in reducing
the “othering” on both sides, accepting that both sides, freed from any bias, can
communicate also the “unpleasant” stories of the other part.

Keywords: National and ethnic minority, minority museums, self-representation,
borderlands, Schleswig, Bohemia, Jewish museums.

* Peter Dragsbo, tidligere inspektør ved Museum Sønderjylland – Sønderborg Slot
2009–13 leder af Interreg IVa-projekt”Mindretalsliv/Minderheitenleben”

Adresse: Gyden 2, DK-5900 Rudkøbing, Danmark

E-mail: peter@dragsbo.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2017 • 1, s. 132–142

Minna Sarantola-Weiss & Emilia Västi *

Abstract: In 2014–16, six Finnish museums carried out a project to investigate
how deaccessioning is practised in Finnish museums and how the related process
could be developed. The Finnish Museums Association published two reports
in Finnish on the results of the project, Kokoelmapoistojen hyvät käytännöt
(2015) and Kokoelmapoistojen yhteiset käytännöt (2016), and Deaccessioning:
Sharing Experiences from Finland in English in 2016. The reports discuss issues
of deaccessioning and present a proposed procedure that museums can apply when
considering their own deaccessioning practices. The first-mentioned publication
Kokoelmapoistojen hyvät käytännöt, on good deaccessioning practice, also
contains a model process. The following text is a presentation of the project and
its main results.

Keywords: Collections management, deaccessioning, disposal, division of tasks
in collecting, significance analysis.

*Minna Sarantola-Weiss, Adjunct professor at Helsinki University, Head of research, Helsinki City Museum

Adresse: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo/ Helsingfors stadsmuseum
Keski-Uudenmaan maakuntamuseo/ Mellersta Nylands landskapsmuseum
PL/PB 4300, SF- 00099 Helsingin Kaupunki, Finland

E-mail: minna.sarantola-weiss@hel.fi

* Emilia Västi, Curator, project coordinator, Museum of Technology

E-mail: emilia.vasti@tekniikanmuseo.fi

Copyright 2010 Nordisk Museologi