Post-Soviet museology: between an ideological rock and a hard place of entertainment
Critical Archiving Laboratory (Larion Lozovoy and Anton Lapov)
curated by Sergey Kantsedal
Barriera is enthusiast to host the conference Post-Soviet museology: between an ideological rock and a hard place of entertainment by the Critical Archiving Laboratory, an artistic research collective based in Kyiv, Ukraine. The event will consist of two parts. Initially, some empirical observations regarding the current status of post-Soviet museums will be presented by Larion Lozovoy (via Skype). In the second part, Anton Lapov will discuss particular cases of interdisciplinary museological projects in Ukraine.
What are the functions of a post-Soviet museum within the late capitalist formation? The fundaments of this modern-rational institution are fragmented and shifted, responding to the demands of public attractability. As institutions of culture become increasingly less state-funded within the course of neoliberal reforms, museums are left to their own means in achieving financial autonomy. In result, archival and academic activities may be sacrificed to those of spectacle and entertainment. At the same time, the workings of contemporary Ukrainian museums are still shaped by the Soviet ideological didactics. Exhibition narratives contain multiple non synchronous elements, with vestiges of former ideologies creeping through the newly constructed nation-centric representations. While museum vitrines are cosmetically modernized, fundamental patterns of late Soviet exposition design (based on linear historicism and hierarchy of objects) remain intact. However, these contradictions can possibly be sublated into alternative museological forms that reconsider available instruments of representation of ideas and things.