The ethnographic museum is full. Clothes, objects and tools fill the walls and floors. But where is the love? The three speakers take the exhibition Losing Venus as their starting point to discuss how emotion, intimacy, care and love can be brought back into the ethnographic museum and radiate out from its collections.
Cecilia Järdemar is a Swedish/Madeiran visual artist and researcher. She holds a PhD in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art in London and is now a Senior lecturer at Konstfack. For the last years Järdemar has worked collaboratively with artists Anna Ekman and Freddy Tsimba, and their work has been shown at at Museé D’Art Contemporain in Kinshasa, Kalmar Konstmuseum, Gävle Konsthall and The Centre of Photography, Stockholm, and a monograph was published by Sailor Press in 2019. Currently Järdemar is running the Swedish Research Council-funded project Tranforming the Encounter together with Tsimba.
Matt Smith is an artist interested in how cultural organisations and objects represent lived lives. Solo exhibitions include Losing Venus at the Pitt Rivers Museum (2020) Flux: Parian Upacked at the Fitzwilliam Museum (2018) and Queering the Museum at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (2010). In 2016 he was Artist in Residence at the V&A and in 2010 co-founded Unravelled Arts, curating artist interventions at National Trust properties. Smith studied Ceramics at the University of Westminster and holds a MA in Museum studies from the University of Leicester where he is an Honorary Visiting Fellow. He holds a PhD in Queer Craft from the University of Brighton and is Professor of Craft at Konstfack University, Stockholm.
Shelley Angelie Saggar is a CHASE-funded PhD researcher based in the Centre for Indigenous and Settler-Colonial Studies at the University of Kent. Her project examines reclamations and contestations of the museum in Native American and Māori literature and film, with a focus on how Indigneous writers and filmmakers imagine strategies for passing on culture and history that exceed the space of the museum. Shelley also works as a collections researcher at the Science Museum, where her work focuses on developing policies and practices to manage culturally sensitive items held at the museum.