Curating an Authentic Past.

This design thesis explores the concept of the open-air curation. The concept of the open-air museum was formed from the desire to preserve architectural heritage and aestheticise the past. This aestheticisation of landscape grew out of the ideals of nationalism and romanticism and the power of this open-air type is how memory is constructed through architecture and landscape. However, as shifting notions of culture and identity change, our understanding of landscape has shifted from the symbolic and scenographic, to the lived and dialogic. As a result, the role of the open-air museum in the future is an uncertain one. In this context this thesis examines Kizhi State Open-air museum in Northern Russia. It explores how it’s symbolic image has been formed, idealised and commodified, and discusses how it’s aesthetic is preventing any further development on the island and it’s role as a museum. This thesis challenges the existing model used by the museum to represent the past, and reconsiders the role of the curator to explore its place in the future.

LOCATION | Russia

PROGRAMME | Research