Material aesthetics and agency: Alexander Dorner and the stage-managed museum

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Journal Article
Interstices: Journal of Architecture and Related Arts, 2013, 14 (1), pp. 25 - 37
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At stake for the museum in the early 1920s, Alexander Dorner suggested, was much more than art historical erudition and connoisseurship but the adequate resolution of the only thing that mattered - "ourselves and our vital problems" (1958: 147). The purpose of the museum was to aid the improvement of selfawareness and a deeper understanding of the present situation, he insisted, and this could only be accomplished if "the energies that, surging up from the past, have invaded our own lives" (147) were uncovered. It was apparent to him that the museum would have to utilise "all possible sensory and intellectual resources of representation" (146) to achieve this aim.
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