Geschichtspolitik

T. Luke: »History exhibitions formalize norms of how to see without being seen inasmuch as the curators pose as unseen seers, and then fuse their vision with authority. In the organization of their exhibitions´spaces, the enscription of any show´s textual interpretations, and the coordination of an exhibit´s aesthetic performance, curators are acting as normative agents, directing people what to see, thin, and value. Museum exhibition become culture-writing formations, using their acts and artifacts to create conventional understandings that are made manifest or left latent in any visitor´s/ viewer´s personal encounters with the museum´s normative performances. Simply by enterin display spaces, all visitors/ viewers learn someting about how they must act or should regard their artifacts. Historical displays, then, do operate as power plays in which plays for power circulate with the movement of viewers through their curated spaces. Seeing historical objects, witnessing historic performances, encountering interpretations of history are all behaviors that can alter people´s attitudes in relation to certain political values associated with particular cultural things. As the educational means of helping people to “im-personate” more easily the ideal person valued by their nations, history museums also can be recast as exercises of governmentality in which disciplinary discourses, the order of things, or specific intellectuals redirect the consciousness and behavior of museum visitors to advance various governmental goals. In contemporary cultural mediascapes, the agendas of governmentality often compund themselves with systems of entertainment.«

Timothy W. Luke: Museum Politics. Power Plays at the Exhibition, Minneapolis 2002, S. 3.