Artist Talk - Thursday 14 April, 2016
The museum, an institution to preserve and interpret the material evidence of the human race, has a long history, springing from an innate human desire to collect and interpret the world around us. By deciding how the past is presented and memorialised, museums not only preserve the past, they also play an important role in the construction of our ideologies, identities and the understanding and interpretation of ourselves.
Egypt’s identity is particularly interwoven and defined by its history, a history that has long been celebrated around the world. The open-air museums of ancient Egypt promoted the world’s first package holidays, drawing visitors to celebrate and interpret the country’s rich history. Today, hundreds of museums in Egypt preserve and exhibit the past for tourists and Egyptian’s alike. The grandiose style of Egyptian museums reflects and magnifies the glorification of Egypt’s bygone eras.
This series focuses on the museums of Egypt and the different styles used in curating and presenting the past to audiences. Using space, materials and design, curators can venerate events, revere heroes, and imbue history with a sense of grandiosity. Through the aesthetics of the displays, museums and their curators help the public understand history, but more importantly, reveal and mould Egypt’s identity.