Project ‘1975’ Essay Clémentine Deliss

Clémentine Deliss is the author of the fifth Project 1975 essay ‘Stored Code. Remediating Collections in a Post-ethnographic Museum.’ In this essay Deliss investigates what kind of framework might be best suited to present a world-cultures museum’s collection in the twenty-first century.

How can we translate the ‘ethnographic’ collections of world-cultures museums into the Post-ethnographic discourse? Deliss argues for a remediation of the world-cultures collections. To remediate means to bring about a change of medium, to experiment with alternative ways of describing, interpreting and displaying the objects in the collection. While analysing the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, Deliss states that to re-think the ethnographic collection means to engage with that necessary mix of discomfort, doubt, and melancholia in order to translate these objects to a contemporary context and gently build additional interpretations onto their existing set of references. For this process to work, fieldwork has to take place within the museum itself and no longer on journeys to distant lands. Hereby the museum becomes a space of visual inquiry and production. Download Newsletter 124 here to read Clémentine Deliss’ essay.

Clémentine Deliss is curator and director of the Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt. She studied contemporary art and social anthropology in Vienna, London and Paris and holds a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London on 1920s French anthropology and dissident surrealism. Between 1992 and 1995 she functioned as artistic director of Africa95, a contemporary arts festival coordinated with the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and 60 UK institutions. From 1999 until 2000, Deliss was guest Professor at the Stadelschule, Frankfurt. She is producer and publisher of Metronome and worked as director of the research institute “Future Academy” at the Edinburgh College of Art.

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