Larisa V. NIKIFOROVA
Vaganova Ballet Academy, St. Petersburg, Russia, Department of Philosophy, History and Theory of Art
Ul. Zodchego Rossi, 2, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, 191023
Herzen State Pedagogical University, Department of Theory and History Culture
48 Moika River Emb., Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, 191186
Doctor of Science in Cultural Studies
ORCID: 0000-0001-9811-2411Elena V. VOLKOVA
The State Russian Museum, Design Department
Engineering str., 4, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation 191186
Ph.D. in in Cultural Studies
ORCID: 0000-0002-1538-4030Museums of the Holocaust: Transformation of the Museum RitualAbstract:
The analysis of the museum as a space of «сivilizing ritual» took place in the institutional critique of the 1970s-1990s and reconsidered the classical public museum of the 19th-20th centuries, whose main functions were preservation, study and display of the artefacts of the past. Transformation in a "museum ritual" (C. Duncan) or in a museum "laboratory" (T. Bennett) is the affirmation of new forms of identities – national, civilizational. However, the founders and visitors of the classical museums did not see a ritual component in them. Museum ritual was an unplanned and unrecognized effect. Memorial museums with the aim to memorialise traumatic periods of history, especially Holocaust museums, use the ideas of institutional critique as a practical technology. The discourse of memory museums is built on the opposition between democracy and totalitarianism, their tasks are conceived as teaching democratic values (freedom, tolerance, human rights). Immersing oneself in a multisensory museum experience should not only remind about the victims, but also prevent violence in the future. An important function of memorial museums is legitimising nations and groups in the eyes of the international democratic community. Teaching democratic values in Holocaust museums does not only involve traditional educational techniques, but also the affective experience. The article substantiates the assumption that contemporary Holocaust museums are not only ritual, but also literally sacral spaces of a new type – temples of democracy. Like the churches of traditional religions, their forms are endowed with symbolic significance and embody through visual images and multisensory environmental effects an integral set of representations, referring both to history, to the system of values, and to the prospect of salvation – democracy and human rights. Museums are created basing on the model of «hierotopia», their images-paradigms have magic influence and are aimed at human change (transfiguration). The ritual in Holocaust museums acts as a tool, therefore according to the theory the very existence and attendance of such museums is a repulse to violence.Key words:
memory museum, Holocaust, cultural memory, traumatic memory, hierotopia, ritual, mythologeme, sacred space.References:
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Nikiforova, L., Volkova, E. (2022) Museums of the Holocaust: Transformation of the Museum Ritual. International Journal of Cultural Research, 1 (46). 62–76. DOI: 10.52173/2079-1100_2022_1_62