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Museum Unplugged

Guest Books of a Museum | Gästebücher eines Museum
in Museum Unplugged: Eine Selbstbefragung

Friedrich von Borries, Roland Nachtigäller (Eds.)
2015 | Marta Herford
216 pages | 8 pages [173-180]

 

The guest books of cultural institutions—such as the Museum Marta Herford, which will serve as a case study here—are friendship books adorned with the seal of publicness. Visitors often see in them the possibility to position themselves in the public eye, if least for a moment, reinforcing their own existence.

Throughout the last decade, a slew of contributions and doodles have been archived in the currently 35 volume spanning collection of Marta’s guest book collection. Palimpsest-like comments, reactions to comments and other manifestations in text and image are layered throughout the pages, bleeding through the thin paper sheets, accruing traces of such visitors brave or bored enough to leave their mark. Likewise, the internationality of the visitor’s spectrum is mirrored in the many and various languages in which people aim to immortalize their presence in the annals of the museum.