Skip to main content

DBL: Exhibition Histories


This section mimics how this exhibition used the B&L archival materials to provoke a series of responses in visitors (students, the general public, and academics) to the challenges that past practices present in the present. The curators encouraged this through various displays and strategies: the choreographing of a visitor’s movements through the space of the gallery; the embodied engagement of physically walking over images and text; seeing one’s reflection in mirror that form part of the displays, to name a few.

The curation attempt to similarly evoke a series of responses in the website visitor through interrupting their purely digital engagement with the archive through a series of physical activities that take the form of a ‘walkabout’ on the University of Cape Town campus. This ‘walkabout’ starts as a carousel of 6 objects selected from the larger Miscast archive depository. The objects each represent a different trajectory through the University and its archives. 
In choreographing the student’s movement through the institution, the walkabout draws their attention to different departmental collections, prompting them to engage in  Q&A sessions with collections managers, activating certain books in the library they need to consult to find specific answers, asking them to take photos at certain campus locations (that will be loaded onto the site and form part of the larger archive), physically mapping history on the campus (via chalk drawing and writing) and then submitting these materials to the growing archive through the website, and much more.