Musealizing cinema: a troubled history?

CERE, Rinella (2011). Musealizing cinema: a troubled history? In: Moving Image and Institution: Cinema and the Museum in the 21st Century, University of Cambridge, 6-8 July, 2011. (Submitted)

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Museums of cinema are not like any other museum. Their very definition encompasses many different types of institutions and activities, from museum to cinémathèques to archives. Some museums of cinema encompass all three roles, others only one or two of the three. Some have very little museal activities in the way of exhibitions of cinema artefacts, others have very little else. Different national contexts and histories also determine many of these differences.

This paper will discuss the history of the idea to musealize cinema and the ‘configuration’ of this potential museum. It will also trace the different trajectories which were followed based on whether cinema was seen as art or science and technology. Examples will be offered of the different institutions which formed in the first part of the twentieth century and which were entrusted to safeguard, conserve and exhibit cinema’s heritage, what I consider different paradigms for the conservation of cinema: museums but also film libraries and archives.

Finally this paper will reflect how cinema, a popular cultural form, has been transformed and strengthened through museological and archival activities from its origins to the present day, and ask what are the paradoxes involved in putting cinema in a museum, what has been referred to as the difficulty of ‘exhibiting what has already been exhibited’: the conundrum of how to present the history of pre-cinema and cinema without foregoing its ‘moving essence’ (Confino 2000:181).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Depositing User: Rinella Cere
Date Deposited: 15 May 2012 09:30
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 08:45

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