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date: 01 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses elegy in terms of museum culture. Elegy and the elegiac may provide critical purchase upon both the cultural disruptions and political reconfigurations embodied in the museums of the modern era and the increasingly diversifying and recuperative practices of conservation and display at work in the twenty-first century. The association of the elegiac to the museum poetics is reviewed. It is possible to conceive the programmatic rituals performed within the walls of the art museum as fundamentally elegiac. It is recognized that the museum is not as a domain for disinterested aesthetic reflection, objective ethnography, or triumphal history, but as a site of ethical contest among competing memories and identities and, through that contest, a place for cultural regeneration.

Keywords: museum culture, elegy, museum poetics, art museum, cultural regeneration

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