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Appeal to Memory in a Modern Exhibition: Ways of Representing a Document

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Abstract. Nowadays artists actively take part in the discussion about the ways of representing the past. In contemporary exhibitions we can witness the use of historical evidences, personal and family archives. Every time this work redefines the meaning of memory. Including document as a part of the work, artists create a special type of expression in-between the artistic and historical. Thus, the article will be focused on the ways of using documents in contemporary art. How artists and curators use documents in the exhibition space? What interests the artists and what stays out of focus? Three exhibitions are analyzed in the article: “Anna Frank. Holocaust diaries” in Jewish Museum in Moscow, "Industrial zone" by Pavel Otdel’nov in Moscow Museum of Modern art and “Dried – to believe” in International Memorial. These exhibitions offer different ways of using documents including the combination of personal diaries with the works of art, creating the quasi-museum and making documents the part of interaction and game. Documents become a means of storytelling and creation of a new meaning of memory, which, if we define exhibition as a social and political action, goes far beyond the artistic interpretation to the cultural space itself.

Keywords: contemporary art, personal memory, family history, representation of memory, museums of conscience.

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