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World Culture Museum opens in Gothenburg

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11:14 CET+01:00
Sister of DreamsGothenburg's new World Culture Museum opened over the holidays to something like praise from most of the press. The museum - with five exhibitions - doesn't seem to be taking quite enough of a stand for some critics, but everyone seems to have found something to love.

The biggest exhibition is one of the multimedia extravaganzas so popular within the Swedish didactic culture - "Horizons: Voices from a global Africa" tries to keep everyone engaged with video, film, and music.

Aftonbladet's Petter Larsson applauded the exhibition and offered it as an example of what the museum ought to be: "a critique of a worldview controlled by the powerful men of the Western world".

Expressen's reviewer wasn't as impressed, describing the exhibition as "a little voodoo, a little ancient culture, some ritual masks and glittering carnival costumes, a little rasta and, yes, a little Yinka Shonibare".

Even Aftonbladet's writer admitted that it could have been better, saying that "Horizons" stopped at exactly the moment it could have been really controversial, and that the exhibit on AIDS titled "No Name Fever" was a bit, well, nice. While Larsson admitted that taking a stand was perhaps a bit of a tall order for a state museum, he seemed to suggest that the World Culture Museum should stick its neck out.

Everyone seems pleased at least with American artist Fred Wilson's contribution to the new museum.

His project "Site Unseen" focused, among other things, on Rubén Pérez Kantule, a West Indian who worked at Gothenburg's Ethnographic Museum in the 30s and somehow found himself an object of study at his workplace. Photos of Kantule in professional and personal environments take an individual and his story as the point of departure, and Wilson's piece seems to have been entirely well received.

It is perhaps not that surprising: Expressen notes that "with his Caribbean background and meta-archaeological speciality, Wilson is a dream prince for this museum - and, of course, he delivers".

The World Culture Museum opened on December 29th and includes the exhibitions "Horizons: Voices from a global Africa", "No Name Fever: AIDS in the age of globalisation", "Sister of Dreams: People and myths of the Orinoco", "390m3 Spirituality", and "Site Unseen: Dwellings of the Demons".

Sources: World Culture Museum, Expressen, Aftonbladet

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