[xmca] Two Manchester exhibitions

From: Bruce Robinson <bruce who-is-at brucerob.eu>
Date: Thu Sep 06 2007 - 11:50:03 PDT

I thought these two exhibitions were of relevance to David's post on the
'Needham problem'. I intend to go next week. The Manchester Museum is
part of the university and has inherited all its collections from the
Victorian era, including things brought back by anthropologists.

Can anyone give me brief idea of where Kopytoff is at?


The Uncertainty of Identity: The Biographies of Things
to February 2008

Objects are part of our lives, and also have lives of their own. Like
people, objects have biographies. Inspired by the work of the
anthropologist Igor
Kopytoff, this exhibition reveals how an object's identity is not fixed,
but is shaped by the contexts in which it is exchanged, owned and used.
On entering a
museum or gallery, objects that once had a market value become
'singularized' and are valued more highly for their cultural significance.

Objects from the Whitworth's collection have been researched for their
biography, generating interesting discussions about value and worth.

    Revealing Histories: Myths about Race

         From 25 August 2007

Many Victorian institutions, including The Manchester Museum,
contributed to the same racist thinking that had justified slavery. As
part of the Revealing Histories: Remembering Slavery project, we explore
the difficult and sensitive issues that this raises. We invite you to
question the displays in the rest of the Museum, and to help us shape
its future.

Our Revealing Histories: Remembering Slavery display on the bridge on
Floor 1 and object trail around the Museum (until 6 January 08) explores
issues surrounding existing displays, aiming to provoke debate on this
important subject and to encourage you to respond with your views.

The object trail will lead you to our Myths about Race exhibition, which
has been created by a group of activists, collectors, academics,
curators and archivists, from inside and outside the Museum. It features
a selection of objects and images that were used in museums and other
media to support racist ideas. It also looks at the ways in which
individuals and organisations in Manchester have worked to dispel these
myths. There is a place where you can sit, reflect and talk. You may or
may not agree with what we say, but we encourage you to respond.

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