“It would be a mistake to think that an “object” as other simply seizes us, making us passive while it is actively dominating.”
Over the past few weeks I’ve joined a variety of activities at the McManus Galleries, attended by groups of senior citizens from Dundee. While wandering around the displays, I have had the pleasure of listening to their stories. Allowing the memories of the past to be brought to life by objects found in the exhibitions.
I began to think about the relationship we have with these selected objects. Once placed in a display cabinet they become more that a mere object; placed beside ‘other’ chosen objects, each display tells a story, an object is a sign, a copy of itself, removed from the past and framed behind glass. The object transcends into artifact.
“Although materially, these remain as they were, they become, on the plane of meanings facsimiles of themselves. They announce distance between what they are and what they were through there very function, once placed in the Museum, of representing their own pastness and, thereby, a set of past social relations.”
The visitor who shares their story by observing a museum artifact, reveals their personal experience of an object. Reconnecting the past to present, the artifact to the everyday object, by placing a story in-between.
 Desmond, W (1995). Being and the Between. New York: State University of New York Press. P11.
 Bennett, T (1995). The Birth of the Museum. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge. P129.