Using the four famous Sonderkommando photographs as a case study, this presentation focuses the process by which images taken from the archive of the Museum of Auschwitz „migrate” to exhibitions in different countries and cultures. I discuss how in their new „museum homes,” they must adapt and be adapted. That is, they are cropped and edited, sometimes resized and put in different lighting, and their taxonomy is shifted. They become part of a different culture and discourse. Thus, my questions include: What does it mean for an image to „migrate” from one museum to another? Does a photograph have an original or is everything a copy? How do museum settings affect viewer reception of the „migrant” image and what can we learn from their responses?
Ramona Bechauf is a PhD candidate at Göttingen University in Germany. As part of her program “Exhibiting Knowledge” she is working at the Jewish Historical Institute learning about how to develop an exhibition. She studied History, German literature and cultural heritage at Paderborn University in Germany and Université Paris 2 Panthéon Sorbonne in France focusing on historic preservation and museology. Together with Jürgen Scheffler, she created the exhibition „Gehen oder Bleiben/To Leave or to Stay” at the Städtisches Museum Lemgo in 2017, which was partly based on the results of her bachelor’s thesis.
The seminar will take place on 21 January 2020 at 11 AM in a meeting room located in the Blue Tower (entrance from Tłomackie Street).
The seminar will be held in English.