Area of Research

A Museum of the Present

Most Western museums fall in line with a 19th century narrative. This narrative holds that the world can be divided into nations, cultures and eras, some of which are considered “progressive” and “modern,” while others count as “backward” and “pre-modern.” The untruth of this narrative has long been evident at the social and political levels: our global present consists of complex, centuries-old interdependencies that traverse these divisions completely. For example, the European modernization process with its noble emancipatory ideals is inextricably linked to imperialist expansion and the colonial outsourcing of exploitative conditions. Both processes run in parallel. A museum of the present has to address this complexity both epistemologically and aesthetically.