Elisa Mandelli

Images of history. Museums, audio-visuals and the experience of the past

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Museums; Audio-Visuals; Memory; Experience; Authenticity.

This essay investigates the role of audio-visuals in the exhibition design of history and memory museums. Focusing on three main case studies, it shows how films and moving images are privileged means to achieve the spectacular effects and the visitors' emotional and «experiential» engagement that constitute the main purpose of contemporary museums. Analyzing the use of archival footage, audio-visual testimonies and video reconstructions, this article problematizes the assumption that the tangibility of objects and relics has a «coefficient of reality» inaccessible to images. Rather, it shows how the processes of authentication of images depend on the relationship they establish with spectators. In fact, the perception of the visitors gains an unprecedented centrality, and the perpetuation of remembrance is fostered by their recognition of an emotional authenticity of museum experience.

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