The National Museum of Contemporary History, which is partner in the EU Culture project EMEE – EuroVision: Museums Exhibiting Europe, invites you to the first out of total seven EuroVision Labs. The first experimental exhibition under the slogan “One Object – Many Visions – EuroVisions” is a peek of an iceberg of the working process that has been going on since March this year. It is a four-parted exhibition with an artist intervention in front of the museum.
What went on since March?
In March 2015, we decided to do something new, something that connected our target audience of the non-visitors with museums and offer them the insight on the museums’ work and purpose. Therefore, we invited 15 young adults and 15 museum experts from Slovenia and abroad to collaborate on the project. We turned the familiar roles of the public and the museum upside down and defined the new ones. We asked the museum workers to show their favourite museum objects and assigned the young the task of museum curators. In the manner of museum speed dating, the new museum curators selected objects from those that museum workers presented as the chief selection of national heritage with European references and therefore worthy of becoming objects of the exhibition.
Museum speed dating and a time machine
While speed dating, museum experts had to dazzle the young adults with stories of their objects as well as their multi-layered and transnational components. Both parties met one on one and had exactly three minutes to talk before the bell rang, and announced to the young to change their seats. Young adults had to choose five objects that spoke to them and present them in a different way, based on the knowledge gained during the EMEE workshops.
Therefore the main exhibition part consists of a time machine, which takes you for a ride into the Time Capsule, based on the five chosen objects, prepared by the young. Time Capsule brings you back to 1990. You have entered the living room of a flat in Ljubljana. A young history student recently inherited it from her grandparents. The room has hardly changed since her grandparents furnished their first flat many years ago. There are grandmother’s plants in the corner, and grandfather’s memorabilia is scattered all over the room. A living room as it is, it is meant for visitors to explore and discover the stories of the five selected objects gradually. The intention behind this concept is for the visitors to be active explorers, to see the everyday objects in a new perspective and to enjoy in the accompanying programme prepared by the young co-workers. Therefore, they have avoided the usual texts on the wall, by creating a special EuroVision Lab. newspaper issue for the visitors to enjoy and take home. Our exemplary unit Fiat 600 – Zastava 600 – 750 – fičo also fits perfectly into this story and waits for the visitors in front of the museum, filled with stories and car-owners’ experiences.
The young artists we invited to the cooperation decided to prepare their interpretation of exhibition’s slogan One Object – Many Visions – EuroVisions. With their artist intervention they decided to trigger the visitors of the Tivoli Park, surrounding the museum, to play on the path that leads towards museum. Through the optical game, non-visitors approach the museum and stop playing right in front of the entrance, therefore you learn about the museum through the process of edutainment.
The additional exhibitions in the museum show the rest of the objects that the young participants were able to choose from, as well as the presentation of our partners in EMEE project. Lastly, we wished to introduce you to the multi-layered Europe through the eyes of participants of the EMEE Young Scenographer Contest. To present their points of view, we included a traveling exhibition where the best teams of scenographers are presented along with the catalogue.
Experience the EMEE EuroVision Lab. in various ways!
Our diverse and experimental exhibition runs from 16 July to 10 October 2015, and is enriched by the special EuroVision Lab. newspaper issue, a bilingual EuroVision Lab. catalogue and EuroVision Lab. memory game. In order to assure the information on various channels, we produced a series of short videos with information about the selected and displayed objects in a new, multi-layered way. To make this laboratory as accessible as possible, we have prepared a series of guided tours by the young, also in sign language. Together with the young adults, we have prepared the afternoon tea parties in the Time capsule, dedicated to discussions about the museums and their roles with our non-visitors – the young. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, a game called “Museum jogging track” is available outside the museum, based on the selected objects, for the random park visitors to be lured inside the museum through having fun. Entire Lab. was designed and based in tight cooperation with the young adults to address our greatest challenge so far: How to attract our large group of non-visitors – the young adults? To answer to this question, we invited the addressees themselves to help us while searching for options. The biggest treasure we gained from this process, besides connecting with other museums and helping the young to test themselves in the unknown situations, is the knowledge on how the young wish the history would be presented in the museums, so it would raise interest among their peers.
If you wish to learn more about the EuroVision Lab., please check the EuroVision Lab. newspaper and our EMEE YouTube channel.