Four members of the interdisciplinary research project Object Matters: Archaeology and Heritage in the 21st Century have contributed to the research anthology Museum & Place that was recently published by ICOFOM – ICOM’s international committee for museology. The volume called Museum & Place, edited by Kerstin Smeds (professor emeritus at Umeå University), and Ann Davis (professor emeritus at the University of Calgary) is available online here. The collection of essays explores explores relations between museums, place, memory and landscape and presents case studies of ecomuseums, preserved landscapes, heritage sites and open-air museums.
Torgeir Rinke Bangstad has contributed to the volume with a chapter called Buildings on the move: relational museology and the mutability of place where he explores the process of moving buildings to open-air museums based on his research on the musealization of reconstruction architecture from Finnmark, Norway. An important argument of his paper is that a place like the Olderfjord house (photo above) that is currently preserved ex situ at Norsk Folkemuseum is conditioned by shifting relations between human and non-human elements that shape architecture over time and presents specific challenges to contemporary practices of heritage-making and relocation of buildings to open-air museums.
Saphinaz Amal Naguib and Stein Farstadvoll conclude Museum & Place with a photo essay from the town of Vardø in Finnmark called Flâneries in a Northern Urban Landscape. Affective atmospheres, diffuse museum and the creation of heritage in the 21st century. Taking the tropes of flânerie and flâneur/flâneuse out of vibrant metropolises and over to the quieter rural context of Vardø, Farstadvoll and Amal-Naguib stroll through the streets, observe people and their activities, look at buildings and things, contemplate the surrounding landscape, visit neighbouring sites, and try to get a feel of the place and its history.
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