Preserving the World. Museum Ritual in the Digital Age

December 16, 2015 – February 28, 2016
Esterházy Palace, 3rd floor, Námestie Ľ. Štúra 4, Bratislava

Exhibition Concept: Alexandra Kusá
Curators: Alexandra Kusá & Lucia Gavulová in cooperation with an extensive team
Exhibition Design: Boris Meluš & Martin Šichman

In many respects, the exhibition project entitled Uchovávanie sveta. Rituál múzea v digitálnom veku / Preserving the World. Museum Ritual in the Digital Age is different from most projects to which visitors to the Slovak National Gallery are accustomed. It is dedicated to the roles and possibilities of art museums in the age of digital technology. It presents, in a form that is attractive for visitors, the methods of the sensitive digitizing of art in museums and galleries regarding the preservation of the aura of the original works of art.

The inspiration for this exhibition was the SNG project entitled Digitálna galéria / Digital Gallery, which spanned several years and ended in November 2015. “Since exhibitions are the typical products of a gallery institution, we have decided to work with the issues that were created by the digitizing project, but also in the form of an exposition,” explains curator Alexandra Kusá. “Our intent was to prepare an exhibition that featured museum work and tried to creatively use digital technology to ensure that the most important things– the artifact and the experience - did not get lost. It will also explain in a staged format the various functions and roles of a museum, which is not only a place for contemplation, but an unusual warehouse, classroom and cabinet of knowledge,” adds the curator.

The special character of the individual rooms (We Install, We Deposit, We Explain, We Record, We Exhibit, We Note, and We Question) which reflects the tasks and activities of collecting institutions, not to mention their ritualized nature, guides the visitor through the exhibition and its perception. “The visitor will see collection objects of Slovak museums intentionally placed in period showcases, the re-installed depository, the method of preserving and exhibiting objects which under normal circumstances do not fit in a museum, the originals of paintings interpreted with a specific digital layer, original sketchbooks of the greatest masters of Slovak Modernism and of contemporary artists (which can be leafed through without physically touching them), the work of contemporary artists created especially for this exhibition by using digital technology and others,” adds curator Lucia Gavulová. Visitors will be led though the exhibition by the magical voice of actor Robert Roth.

This exhibition is also unique because of the team of experts who prepared and implemented it. They include professionals in the fields of art history, museum work, digitizing of cultural heritage, development, architectural design of exhibitions, graphic design, gallery pedagogy, and programming. The exhibition is a result of the inter-disciplinary cooperation of collecting institutions throughout Slovakia and features objects from the depositories of the Slovak National Museum, the Slovak National Gallery, the Bratislava City Gallery and the Bratislava City Museum.