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Authors:Sigrid Lien: Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies, University of Bergen, Norway
Hilde Nielssen: Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies, University of Bergen, Norway
Publication title:Conventional Ethnographic Display or Subversive Aesthetics? Historical Narratives of the Sami Museum; RiddoDuottarMuseat-Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat (RDM-SVD) in Karasjok; Norway
Conference:Great Narratives of the Past Traditions and Revisions in National Museums: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Paris 28 June – 1 July & 25–26 November 2011
Publication type: Abstract and Fulltext
Issue:078
Article No.:037
Abstract:The question of how and where Sámi culture is best represented is a debated issue in Norway. However; politically the problem has been “solved” through the establishment of Sámi museums; run by Sámi people and administered by the Sámi Assembly. The first Sámi museum in Norway was RiddoDuottarMuseat-Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat (RDM-SVD) in Karasjok. Sámi museums have; however; been subjected to considerable criticism. They have been accused for propagating ethnic reification and presenting a stereotypical and static image of Sámi culture and identity. The exhibitions are seen as replicas of conventional ethnographic displays; tending to represent Sámi culture as belonging to a traditional; pre-modern past; due to a lack of chronological narration and historical anchoring. Based on fieldwork at the RDM-SVD; this article presents an analysis of the exhibition practices that challenges such earlier readings. We argue that far from replicating the exhibition language of dominant western ethnography; the exhibitions can be seen as an effort to undermine the conceptions of time and history of the dominant society. Based on a study of the museum display as a total experience; our alternative reading suggests that the museum; by evoking a mythical landscape through aesthetic means; inscribes itself into a Sámi conception of time and space – a Sámi understanding of reality. Thus; we also address the debate concerning museums in non-western spaces; and the question of recognizing indigenous curatorial practices. Not least the art section leaves an impression of a museum space less marked by closure than earlier readings suggest. Here the museum opens up for articulations with the wider world; as Sámi contemporary art not only speaks from a position of a particular locality; it also communicates with the international art scene and incorporates visions and perspectives from a global or multiple world.
Language:English
Year:2012
No. of pages:17
Pages:599-616
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3686
ISSN (online):1650-3740
File:http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp/078/037/ecp12078037.pdf
Available:2012-10-30
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet

REFERENCE TO THIS PAGE
Sigrid Lien, Hilde Nielssen (2012). Conventional Ethnographic Display or Subversive Aesthetics? Historical Narratives of the Sami Museum; RiddoDuottarMuseat-Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat (RDM-SVD) in Karasjok; Norway, Great Narratives of the Past Traditions and Revisions in National Museums: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Paris 28 June – 1 July & 25–26 November 2011 http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=078;article=037 (accessed 11/28/2014)