WS/TS 1. @Skissernas

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Follow our tour of the lesser, more insignificant, and little known Monuments of Malmö. Conducted by the co-founder of Dis/Order, Johanna Bratel.

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Several images from the Skissernas Museum tour with director Patrick Amsellem.


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Memory and monument (opens in autumn 2017)

Talk: The Fake, The False and the Fraudulent: coding and uncoding public monuments in contested spaces.
Who could have thought, some 40 years after Umberto Eco published his acclaimed essay, “Travels in Hyperrealiity,”  that Eco’s observations on America’s fake artefacts and fake cities would become so totally conventional, or such a universal trope. 
In the upcoming discussion in Lund, a co-sponsored production between the Skissernas Museum and r-Lab at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, we plan to assess how deception in the public sphere becomes an alternative version of truth. It seems wherever we go these days, physical history is misrepresented, whitewashed or dubiously erased. Johanna Bratel co-founder of Disorder in Malmö, Alessandro Petti Professor in Architecture and Social Justice at the RIA, Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, Stockholm artist, Patrick Amsellem, director of the Skissernas Museum will bring their distinct perspectives on issues concerning heritage sites, collective memory, urban culture and design.   
Moderated by Peter Lang, r-Lab instructor and Professor of Architectural Theory and History at the RIA.



Umberto Eco reflected on several museums and popular attractions while travelling across the United States in the early seventies. He was particularly struck by the Palace of Living Arts in Buena Park, Los Angeles, where a copy of Michelangelo’s statue of David stood before the entrance. Eco observed: the Palace’s philosophy is not  “We are giving you the reproduction so that you will want the original,” but rather “We are giving you the reproduction so you will no longer feel any need for the original.” But for the reproduction to be desired, the original has to be idolised, and hence the kitsch function of the inscriptions and the taped voices, which remind you of the greatness of the art of the past. (Umberto Eco, William Weaver trans.Travels in Hyperreality, Essays. New York, Harcout Brace, 1973) 19. Eco was clearly amused by how Americans toyed with the artefacts of memory, taking liberal license to build memories whether they existed or not. Case in point for Eco are the ‘fake’ cities: “This theme of our trip… is the absolute fake; and therefore we are interested only in absolutely fake cities. Disneyland, Disney World are obviously the chief examples but if they existed alone they would represent an negligible exception. The fact is that the United States is filled with cities that imitate the city just as wax museums imitate painting in the Venetian Palazzos, or Pompeian villas imitate architecture. In particular there are the”ghost towns” the western cities of a century and more ago. …more interesting are those born from nothing, out of pure imitative determination. They are “the real thing.” Eco 1973, 40).

When considering the subject for the Skissernas, whose collections of public art projects is unrivalled, the question that should be raised is when can  the fake be  “authentic”, when can the “false” be true,  and when is the fraudulent more convincing than the real thing? This is not so much the Benjaminian question on the original work of art in the in the age of  reproducibility, as almost everything today is simply untraceable,  but rather if the 3D digital scan swished across the smart phone using some Google app depicting an artefact recently pulverised during a drone attack is in fact undisputedly real. Actually, this Talk-shop at the Skissernas in Lund is expected to raise many more questions… a visit of the museum’s archives  should provide an opportunity to reflect on what are the appropriate space-time responses possible ..and how does the public meaningfully recognise and engage with public art and architecture today?

Dates: OCTOBER 5-6.

Proposed two day schedule:

Thursday 5 October:  museum and archive visit 14:00. Conference 18:00 – 20:00.         OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Friday 6 October: Morning Walk around Malmö’s monumental sites, with Johanna Bratel.


Patrick Amsellem, Director,  Skissernas Museum,    Lund

Peter Lang, Professor, Architectural Theory and History,

Alessandro Petti, Professor, Architecture and Social Justice

Johanna Bratel. co-founder Dis/Order   Malmö.

Johanna Gustafsson Fürst,  Artist, Stockholm.

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT TEAM: Peter Lang, Stina Hagelqvist, Daniel Urey.



Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality. (New York, Harcourt Brace, Originally published 1973.) -available on PDF.

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