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Exhibition Passages & Repassages, Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum

The development of the exhibition is based on personal experiences of people who are linked to the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków. From the very outset, we wanted to check what statements are carried over by our one-hundred-year-old collection? Are there any deeper meanings that are hidden in the objects which have been amassed over the years? What kind of questions to they beg to be asked?
The key to understanding the collection was sought after through personal views. During the workshops leading up to the exhibition, we asked for the following reflection: “Try to remember an important event from your childhood; try to describe it. What does it mean for you today?”. By the end of the day we had over forty separate stories – not dissimilar to Proust’s madeleines: the smell of apples on the porch of a village schoolteacher, the view of a father polishing shoes, driving a plough at the age of twelve; observing a storm through an open window, picking mushrooms with a grandmother in the forest, making dumplings, looking over a procession for Corpus Christi.

We realised that the meanings of these seemingly trivial and banal events still meant something to us. We found out that simple objects and events hold a central part in our memories and even though they are simple reminiscences, they hold a valuable and personal importance. A key, table, or cupboard can conjure all manners of associations and images, which are present in our current lives and inspirations. We managed to find items in the Museum’s collection that resonated with these experiences, and our exhibition comes with such reasoning.

The title’s “passages” are the memories from childhood which are still in us, while the “returns” comprise the presence of those values today. In thirteen sections amidst modern scenography, the viewer receives an invitation to meet with not just the Museum's collection, but with him- or herself. The displayed spinning wheels, lock mechanisms, glass paintings, beehives, costumes, sculptures, toys, photographs… – on the surface all these things are regular objects, made for everyday use, yet they are presented as important and useful in the continuing search for our own identities. Such is the proof that people and the power of their cultures stand fast behind things. This is an exhibition about regular objects, which in turn leads to exceptional conversation.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: till 25th March 2012 Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, ul. Krakowska 46 Free Entry

Exhibition scenario: Antoni Bartosz, Bożena Bieńkowska, Grzegorz Graff, Dorota Gruszka, Anna Mokrzycka, Małgorzata Oleszkiewicz, Ewa Rossal, Małgorzata Szczurek

The project co-financed by the European Union nad Region Małopolska as part of Małopolska Regional Operating programme for 2007-2013.
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  • Program regionalny
  • województwo maloposkie
  • Unia Europejska
The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013