Open for Interpretation

An Experimental Exhibition Project in an Ethnographic Collection

  • Karin Kaufmann NONAM Nordamerika Native Museum Zürich
Keywords: ethnographic museum, exhibition, experiment, open storage, public participation


This article discusses the curatorial strategy of open storage and its assumed potential to decolonize knowledge production in ethnographic museums. Showing masses of stored objects supposedly free from any institutional interpretation is thought to allow for shifting the authority over meaning-making from the museum to the public. Findings from public storeroom visits that were conducted in connection with a participatory exhibition project in an ethnographic museum call these assumptions into question.

How to Cite
Kaufmann, Karin. 2019. “Open for Interpretation: An Experimental Exhibition Project in an Ethnographic Collection”. TSANTSA – Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Association 24 (May):89-98.