Dagnoslaw Demski, Another Past, Another Context. Reflections on Modern European Display

Dagnoslaw Demski - Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences
p. 13-26
Online publication date: 
exhibiting, idea of display, objects versus context, museums, state, regional, private, Eastern Europe

After the demise of the Communist regime, the painter Horia Bernea was appointed as head of the Romanian Peasant Museum. Bernea organized the museum’s exhibitions striving to display the ‘spirituality of the Romanian peasant’ through the objects of the museum collections, but having at the heart the Orthodox Christian belief. The first exhibition, ‘The Cross’, was opened in 1994, being imprinted by his plastic imagination and the ideas about rȃnduiala lucrurilor (the organic order of the things). Thus, this first exhibition aimed to encapsulate the religious, intimate and organic traits of the way the objects are positioned in the world. After the beginning of the 2000s, steps towards an alternative usage of the museum’s rooms and additional premises were made. It was then that various activities such as public conferences and debates, or fairs of ‘traditional’ material culture, were hosted in the museum. In addition, a subtle and new image of the ‘Romanian peasant’ is delivered to the public, an image that is quite different from that of the 1990s, but still much accurate with regard to the current everyday life in Romanian villages.

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