Sentient Relics: Museums and Cinematic Affect

1st Edition

Janice Baker

Routledge
Published January 3, 2020
Reference - 140 Pages
ISBN 9780367193065 - CAT# K417614

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Summary

Sentient Relics explores museums through cinema and challenges the dominant focus of museum theory as an inclusion–exclusion debate. The author responds to the Enlightenment, ‘rational’ museum of reason contrasting this with the museum of affect and reveals these ‘two museums’ operating alongside one another in a productive paradox. In structuralist-orientated museum theory the affective realm is often subsumed within the imperatives of Marxist theory and practice, identity politics, semiology and psychoanalysis. Sentient Relics, while valuing the insights of ideologically focused meaning-making, turns to the capacity of the affective realm of experience to transform the passive subject and object relation. The author uses museum encounters and cinematic affect to engage with problems of difference, temporality, emotion and the sublime. In so doing the book advances research in museum studies by demonstrating what is at stake in pragmatically working toward a deeper understanding of the museum socially, culturally and philosophically.

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