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Memory museum and museum text: intermediality in Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum and W.G. Sebald’s ‘Austerlitz’

Arnold-de-Simine, Silke (2012) Memory museum and museum text: intermediality in Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum and W.G. Sebald’s ‘Austerlitz’. Theory, Culture & Society 29 (1), pp. 14-35. ISSN 0263-2764.

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In the last 20 years the institution of the museum has gone through a period of redefining its role and its functions in society, its forms of representation, its authority in discourses on the past and its objects. The stated aim of many of the ‘memory museums’ which were established during this period is to invite reflection on the aestheticization of memory and on the fact that the exhibition is seen as a narrative which is challenging conventional codes of perception. By granting a voice to what has been left out of the dominant discourses of history and of everyday experience, they try to integrate diversified and sometimes even incompatible narratives – a mode of representation that has so far been the domain of art and specifically literature. This contribution argues that it is not only between the museum and the memorial that distinctions between different memory media are getting blurred: examples such as Libeskind's Jewish Museum, which wants to be read as a text, and W.G. Sebald's novel Austerlitz, which he described as an alternative Holocaust museum, indicate that aspects of intermediality gain importance in the contemporary memorial landscape.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Austerlitz, intermediality, Jewish Museum Berlin, Daniel Liebeskind, memory, museums, W.G. Sebald
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > Cultures and Languages
Depositing User: Silke Arnold-de Simine
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 10:46
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2014 10:54

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