Exhibiting Mozart: Rethinking Biography
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSpring, U. (2010). Exhibiting Mozart – Rethinking Biography. Nordisk Museologi(2), 58-74.
Abstract: The article analyses the new permanent exhibition in the composer Wolfgang A. Mozart’s apartment in Vienna, opened in 2006, from the curator’s perspective. The exhibition presents an approach to biographical display in which the exhibited person becomes part of a multifaceted web of contexts, and the article argues for the active deployment of the polysemic character of objects as a means of grasping the complexity of a person’s biography. Presenting a concept for the Mozart exhibition that merges semiotic and cultural theories with the materiality of the objects on display, the article contributes to the discussion as to what constitutes authenticity in museum exhibits, and in particular in memorial spaces, and discusses alternative approaches to the traditional predominance in display of original objects in biographical exhibitions. Moreover, it argues for the productivity of going beyond dichotomies between theoretical and applied museology. Key words: Memorial rooms, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, biographical exhibition, exhibition analysis, theoretical and applied museology, authenticity, cultural heritage.