This blog outlines some thinking on the direction of an exhibition with a working title All about Evil.
The Australian Museum is adapting a Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam exhibition concept for an Australian audience. Originally titled, Het Kwaad (All About Evil), the Tropenmuseum described their exhibition as being about “... the root of all misery, utter disaster and every kind of bad luck. This exhibition tells the story of man’s struggle against evil down the centuries. A story that spans all ages and countries, cultures and religions.
The Australian Museum (AM) exhibition will be arranged as a world cultures/ popular culture exhibit. It’s not intended to be a factual treatment of actual Evil events; rather it is intended that the exhibition select a range of historic narratives, legends and myths, sagas and folklore, superstitions and contemporary belief systems to explore both the popular and exotic concepts of evil and how these concepts have shaped cultural perceptions and behaviour. We’re aiming to show a range of historical and contemporary perspectives in order to challenge the audience’s preconceptions of evil.
‘Evil’ is subjective and the concept of what is evil has changed significantly through time and varies between western and traditional cultures. While the exhibition will include objects from the Museum and other collections around Australia, strong 2D/3D visual elements, film, music, text, audio visual and multimedia as well as interactive components; it is a difficult topic including contentious themes and explicit imagery and objects.
There is opportunity to challenge, provoke, surprise, be controversial, show contemporary viewpoints, display popular culture, inject humour, have slick technology and create an immersive experience. This is where we need your feedback and so we’re inviting you to participate and tell us what you think about the idea!
We look forward to hearing your (evil) thoughts to help us make this exhibition a real showstopper.
...remember - “it’s not a soap opera until someone’s evil twin shows up”