The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Narrative Space Day Three - Post Six

'Frameworks of recollection' Mattias Eckmann

Events take place. We're in LT3 watching a video which has been sent to us in leiu of the actual presence of the speaker (ashcloud again), which questions how memories become embodied in place, and how places become embodied in memory using interviews with both visitors and staff at the National Norweigen Art Gallery. Often, those memories which we retain are very different to the reality. The architectural plan of a building in its physical form, do not always conform to the architecture of our imagination. We often remember those buildings and rooms in the framework of events and the relations which those build between the rooms. This is a peice rather reminiscent of Bachelard's Poetics of Space, which speaks of the power of space to recall within us places which we thought we had forgotten. We stage and restage events in places over and over again. Memories do not conform to chronology, but to association. Memories and places are contact zones.

Eckman is curious about how the gallery is a site for both institutional and personal memory. Thus might architecture embody the memories of collectives, of individuals, and the more intangible memories (or stories, if you like) which things build for us. Documents become sites of memory in these places, and as the day books which I have recently studied, become performative texts and contact zones themselves. Recalling places in other places, surrounded by other information, also modifies and manipulates those memories. Sometimes you have to seek out those memories.

Memories may be embodied in place, but to me they exist in so many other places, both tangible and intangible, in the architecture of the individual mind, and the architectures of mind which are created when we come into contact with other people and objects. It is relational, and fluid, constantly moving.

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