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The Museum as a Cinematic Space

The Display of Moving Images in Exhibitions

Elisa Mandelli

Hardback (Forthcoming)
£75.00

Takes an intermedial approach to examine how film has influenced exhibition design

Key features

  • Uses an innovative and strongly interdisciplinary theoretical framework to enrich our understanding of the display of films and audio-visuals in museums
  • Provides in-depth analysis of the contemporary landscape, highlighting the continuities and fractures between different periods, contexts and practices
  • Features case studies to enhance our knowledge of contemporary museum practice

Moving images have become an increasingly common feature in a wide range of museums, with screens and audio-visual projections frequently encountered by museum visitors. But when did films start to be displayed in museum galleries? And what are the issues at stake when showing moving images in exhibition spaces?

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Contents

Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Preface

Introduction

Part I. BETWEEN HISTORY AND MODERNITY: FILMS AND AUDIO-VISUALS IN EXHIBITIONS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Chapter 1. Cinema, museums, memory, and education

‘The ocular evidence that is truthful and infallible par excellence’: cinema, museums and the preservation of memory

The educational role of cinema

Cinema, museums, and the demands of modern life

Chapter 2. ‘A dimly-lighted corner’. Moving images in museums in the first decades of the twentieth century

Museums and movies: cinema at the Imperial Institute

Films as exhibits: moving images inside the museums’ galleries

An archive for the preservation of films at the Imperial War Museum

How to show film footage? Showing the Imperial War Museum film collection

Trenches, tanks and the explosion of a mine: Mutoscopes at the Imperial War Museum (1924–38)

The Mutoscopes between novelty and obsolescence

Exception or rule? Debating the use of moving images in museum galleries

Chapter 3. Moving images in museums, world’s fairs and avant-garde exhibition design

Twentieth century avant-gardes and exhibition design

The cinematism of the exhibition space: El Lissitzky

Cinema and the dynamism of modern life: Moholy-Nagy’s Room of the Present

‘The paradise of the exhibitor’: museums and world’s fairs

Audio-visual devices at the New York Museum of Science and Industry

Chapter 4. The multi-media museum: film and audio-visuals in museums, 1960s–70s

Museums and films from UNESCO to world’s fairs

The exhibition as a mosaic: Marshall McLuhan and Harley Parker

Museums and the ‘AV revolution’

Part II. THE MUSEUM AS A CINEMATIC SPACE: MUSEUMS AND AUDIO-VISUALS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Chapter 5. From the museum experience to the museum as an experience

From objects to visitors: the virtualisation of the museum

Museums and the ‘experience economy’

Moving images and the museum experience

Chapter 6. Audio-visuals in exhibitions

Archival footage

Documentaries

Reconstructions and fictional films

Video testimonies

Chapter 7. The Museum and its spectres

The mirror and the portrait: The Widespread Museum of the Resistance in Turin

The ‘ghosts’ of the witnesses: The In Flanders Fields Museum

Phantasmagoria

Chapter 8. A walk through images

Galleries, projections, and cinematic effects: The Trento Tunnels

A film in space: Peopling the Palaces at Venaria Reale

Chapter 9. New interpretations of the movie theatre

‘A bit like a large cinema’: The Big Picture Show at the Imperial War Museum North

A movie theatre inside the museum: The Historial Charles de Gaulle

Chapter 10. Touching images

Touching, browsing: interactive tables

Rewriting space: The Museum Laboratory of the Mind

Interactions / interrelations

Conclusions

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Elisa Mandelli is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Link Campus University (Rome), where she teaches 'Theory and techniques of new media'. She is member of the editorial board of the film studies journal 'Cinergie'. Her writings have appeared in various edited collections and national and international journals. She published 'In Treatment. La serialità in analisi' (Mimesis, 2017) and 'Esporre la memoria. Le immagini in movimento nel museo contemporaneo' (Forum, 2017).

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