“Mvsevm-Seat of the Mvse” Opens at BZU Museum

from This Week in Palestine by OMARIVS


Mvsevm-Seat of the Mvse is the second exhibition in the
Beyond Æsthetics program at Birzeit University Museum, curated by OMARIVS


“Mvsevm” is an interactive exhibition at Birzeit
University Museum that explores the dialogue between designers and museums and
how the processes of inspiration, research, and creation interdependently
develop. It aims to break down and deconstruct the traditional barriers that
have been set up between the audience and the exhibited, inspiration and
production, archive and gallery, by bringing all these elements into play
within the exhibition space.


A core team of four individuals - the curator
and three assistants - will carry out the project by compiling a body of
research based on the manual techniques of construction found in items selected
from the Palestinian Costume and Canaan Amulet ethnographic collections. The
collated research and information will be used to build a collection of
finalized fashion items, which in turn will reflect and investigate
contemporaneity and practicality, and the aesthetic potential of these

The physical openness of the space, coupled with the engaging setting, aims to
actively involve the audience in the design, research, and production processes
undertaken by the design team throughout the duration of the exhibition.
Visitors will be able to see the team working in the space and interact with them
in whatever capacity both see fit.

Concentration will be on how museums and exhibited items can be used by
creative individuals as a source of inspiration and information to generate
knowledge. The project will look at the dynamic that develops between the
exhibited item / artifact and the participants as viewers and creative
individuals who will use the information to design and create a product
throughout the period of the project.

The research process, design development, product realization, and audience
interaction that take place at the museum will create a workshop space that, in
turn, becomes and generates the exhibition itself. This means that the process,
information, conclusions, and ideas gathered and developed throughout the
project by the exhibition team and the audience are approached and exhibited,
as one would approach works of art or ethnographic items - almost as an
interactive installation. These will be constantly developing throughout the
exhibition and changed in such a way that for an individual viewer the space
will never look the same on two different visits.

The approach is prompted by how young, creative individuals have now become
reliant on university degrees, museums, and the cultural industry as a source
for their inspiration and training. Therefore, there is a clear importance in
highlighting how designers see themselves in a chain of production and
inspiration. Moreover, as opposed to the contemporary designer, it seems that
the producer of “traditional costumes” has forever been absent as an
individual, rather he or she is part of an impersonal group, versus the
designer whose individuality is of paramount importance to the product. “Mvsevm”
seeks to further highlight this contrast and touch on how these non-individualized
producers and their work feed into the singularity and uniqueness of the
identified designer.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Bank of Palestine, and in
partnership with the Danish House in Palestine and the British
Council, and is part of the Cultural Leadership International program.