By Roger I. Simon
Explores the curating of “difficult wisdom” throughout the exhibition of lynching photos in modern museums.
This awesome comparative research at the curating of “difficult wisdom” specializes in museum exhibitions that provided an analogous lynching photos. via an in depth description of the exhibitions and drawing on interviews with museum employees and customer reviews, Roger I. Simon explores the affective demanding situations to concept that lie at the back of the various curatorial frameworks and the way audience’ reviews at the exhibitions practice a specific dialog approximately race in the United States. He then extends the dialogue to incorporate contrasting exhibitions of pictures of atrocities dedicated by means of the German military at the japanese entrance in the course of international battle II, in addition to to images taken on the Khmer Rouge S-21 torture and killing heart. With an insightful mixing of theoretical and qualitative research, Simon proposes new conceptualizations for a modern public pedagogy devoted to bearing witness to the files of racism
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Additional info for A Pedagogy of Witnessing: Curatorial Practice and the Pursuit of Social Justice
This seems to result in a loss of previously secured meanings and, concomitantly, a deeply felt set of uncertainties as to how to respond. 21 No doubt a disruptive affective force may be provoked by the sight of deadly violence, intensified not only by identifications bolstered by existing sets of social relationships but also as unresolved psychic conflicts in one’s own past. While these considerations are clearly apparent in the comment, there is something else at work, something that points in a rather different direction.
A similar concern has been expressed in regard to the exhibition of lynching photographs. Here, the argument is that for too long racist hierarchies have differentially determined the respect accorded to human life. ”47 Nevertheless, Apel’s position is that this was a risk worth running. She argued that as a nation, the United States could not afford to be innocent of these photos and by refusing to see these images there would be a loss to historical understanding that would only serve to whitewash the crimes of white supremacy.
In this sense, when a perpetrator photograph can be understood as depicting the scene of perpetration and participating in the perpetration itself, both the photographer and the photograph must be considered perpetrators. A similar argument has been made in regard to the infamous photographs of torture taken at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. . but the cameras that were, in this instance, ubiquitous did not merely record what happened: they were instruments used to abuse and humiliate prisoners.