How do archaeological objects constitute a listening post to the hopes and constraints of those who made them, used them, lost them, plundered them, those who found cultural value in them, and those who link them to their own personal priorities and agendas? How do their stories implicate us? How do we find ourselves in them?
At the Kelsey we encounter many objects in a state of fragmentation, wounded by the violence of history, defaced by natural disaster, reshaped through the normal course of physical decay. Their presence in the museum itself is an act of fragmentation, a separation from the original contexts that gave them meaning. Augmenting my story of objects from the Kelsey using fragments from objects at UMMA allows me to pay homage to their unrecorded makers while opening them up to new interpretations. It also turns the tables on time and power relations, ancient cultures looting modern splendor.
Exit through the gift shop, please.