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“Mvsevm-Seat of the Mvse” Opens at BZU Museum

September 5, 2012
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Article from This Week in Palestine by OMARIVS IOSEPH FILIVS DINÆ


Mvsevm-Seat of the Mvse is the second exhibition in the Beyond Æsthetics program at Birzeit University Museum, curated by OMARIVS IOSEPH FILIVS DINÆ.


“Mvsevm” is an interactive exhibition at Birzeit University Museum that explores the dialogue between designers and museums and how the processes of inspiration, research, and creation interdependently develop. It aims to break down and deconstruct the traditional barriers that have been set up between the audience and the exhibited, inspiration and production, archive and gallery, by bringing all these elements into play within the exhibition space.


A core team of four individuals - the curator and three assistants - will carry out the project by compiling a body of research based on the manual techniques of construction found in items selected from the Palestinian Costume and Canaan Amulet ethnographic collections. The collated research and information will be used to build a collection of finalized fashion items, which in turn will reflect and investigate contemporaneity and practicality, and the aesthetic potential of these techniques. 

The physical openness of the space, coupled with the engaging setting, aims to actively involve the audience in the design, research, and production processes undertaken by the design team throughout the duration of the exhibition. Visitors will be able to see the team working in the space and interact with them in whatever capacity both see fit.

Concentration will be on how museums and exhibited items can be used by creative individuals as a source of inspiration and information to generate knowledge. The project will look at the dynamic that develops between the exhibited item / artifact and the participants as viewers and creative individuals who will use the information to design and create a product throughout the period of the project.

The research process, design development, product realization, and audience interaction that take place at the museum will create a workshop space that, in turn, becomes and generates the exhibition itself. This means that the process, information, conclusions, and ideas gathered and developed throughout the project by the exhibition team and the audience are approached and exhibited, as one would approach works of art or ethnographic items - almost as an interactive installation. These will be constantly developing throughout the exhibition and changed in such a way that for an individual viewer the space will never look the same on two different visits.

The approach is prompted by how young, creative individuals have now become reliant on university degrees, museums, and the cultural industry as a source for their inspiration and training. Therefore, there is a clear importance in highlighting how designers see themselves in a chain of production and inspiration. Moreover, as opposed to the contemporary designer, it seems that the producer of “traditional costumes” has forever been absent as an individual, rather he or she is part of an impersonal group, versus the designer whose individuality is of paramount importance to the product. “Mvsevm” seeks to further highlight this contrast and touch on how these non-individualized producers and their work feed into the singularity and uniqueness of the identified designer.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Bank of Palestine, and in partnership with the Danish House in Palestine and the British Council, and is part of the Cultural Leadership International program.


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