My last post looked at the six thematic areas that emerged from participants’ feedback and responses. So, what kinds of angles and themes were they most interested in?
* Real life examples were of most interest here, particular the footage of an exorcism in Sri Lanka. The voyeuristic appeal of this showed distorted humanity before their very eyes. It also met the audiences’ desire for a real look at evil (as opposed to solely a ‘mythical’ one)
* Subcultures are of high interest to potential audiences – they are interested in how evil ‘plays out’ in the modern world. Subcultures are a great manifestation of the other as non-conformist and, therefore, scary
* This was a popular topic as it made the connections between ancient and contemporary evil – how have the icons of evil changed over time? It was also seen as a relatively safe way to explore evil, while unpacking some commonly accepted clichés
Other aspects that were of appeal:
* Colourful, visually engaging material – objects with a strong sense of dynamism were more engaging rather than those that were ‘brown’ and ‘static’
* Moments of light relief were welcomed, examples of impotent evil that are sanitised become funny rather than scary
What ‘failed’ to engage?
* Too much religious iconography – religion is something to look at but not overdone, they return to religious class at school – yawn!
* Mythical evil has become impotent, rather than true evil and is not seen as contemporary and, therefore, relevant to them
* Amulets and other symbols of protection – only of interest if real life stories of ceremony are also shown
* Two dimensional displays are not welcomed as our audiences expect objects and interactivity not paintings
My next blog post will look at how the Museum could better articulate the ‘evil’ idea based on audience feedback so far...