SENKU-seminar with Nicholas Thomas
Exhibiting Oceania, exhibiting encounter, exhibiting Europe
The seminar will take place in the *Foredragssalen* room on the 3rd floor of the museum, Frederiks gate 2. Inform the museum receptionist that you are attending the seminar to get free entry.
Abstract: Museum collections are not masses of static stuff but relational assemblages and creative technologies, resources available to the making of new things.
This lecture addresses the constitution of collections from Oceania and briefly reviews ways in which they have been exhibited and activated in significant exhibitions in Britain in the 1930s; in the United States and Australia in the 1970s and 1980s; and recently and currently in Paris, Cambridge and London. These cases point to the diverse potentialities of ethnographic collections in the present.
Nicholas Thomas visited the Pacific first in 1984 to research culture and history in the Marquesas Islands. He has since travelled and written extensively on cross-cultural encounters, empire, and art in the Pacific. His books include Entangled objects (1991), which influentially contributed to a revival of material culture studies; Islanders: the Pacific in the age of empire (2010), which was awarded the Wolfson History Prize, and a collaborative work, Art in Oceania: a new history (2012), which was awarded the Authors' Society's Art Book Prize. His recent writing on museums has included The return of curiosity: what museums are good for in the twenty-first century (2016). He has curated or co-curated some 20 exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and elsewhere, including 'Oceania' for the Royal Academy of Arts, which opens in September 2018. Since 2006, he has been Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.