Objects and Meaning

Selfmade amulett out of a peach from a prisoner in Syria, copyright: Friedhelm Hoffmann

Selfmade amulet out of a peach pit from a prisoner in Syria, copyright: Friedhelm Hoffmann

It is quite remarkable that two Nobel-Prize winners in literature focus so intensely on meaning and objects in their novels. In his latest book “Museum of Innocence” Orhan Pamuk literally plunges into the world of objects as he roames through the museums of this world, always scanning objects that might relate to his personal experiences.

Herta Müller introduces us to the most simple things that have appeared to be good companions in situations of extreme isolation such as in concentration camps. Certain things give us something to hold onto in times of despair.

Orhan Pamuk sees museums as places in which space is being transformed into time. A beautiful thought. The objects become keys to myths, legends and narratives. They indicate in which way people have experienced something and become evidence of real time.

The more the visitor becomes the curator of his own museum the museum of the 21st century is at the edge of a real revolution. It is being put from its head  onto its feet as the visitors feel more and more free to choose objects that they can really connect with.

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