Last chance to see the exhibition "Beyond Compare" (Unvergleichlich) in Berlin's Bode Museum! The show closes this coming Sunday. In terms of display, this was an interesting intervention into the medieval collections: African objects were set up near pieces that they could have a dialogue with, about one topic or another. The Congolese statue above served as a way to maintain order and ward off evil, just as, the curators suggest, the Mary statue in the background did. The direct visual juxtaposition helps make the point clear, and it certainly opens new avenues for thinking about the function of such pieces: they were not merely "art" in the very modern way we might think of it, but had a concrete purpose almost akin to magic. At the same time, the exhibition text notes that such comparisons are inherently biased and thus problematic. Yet the display asks us to compare.... It's worth visiting for both its innovations and problems!
Ideas on Display
A humble space to reflect on concepts of museum display as enacted across a wide range of subjects, countries, and approaches.