Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mummymania Exhibition

"You will live again, you will live forever. Behold, you are young again forever." 

I am guest curating an exhibition in conjunction with Dr Andrew Jamieson, curator of the Classics and Archaeology Gallery at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne, called Mummymania. It will run from the 6th of October 2015 until April 2016. This exhibition is centred on the Egyptian mummy and its pivotal role in regard to the themes of life, death, the afterlife, eternity and resurrection.  It will have three components: Egyptian concepts of the afterlife; mummies and medicine; and the reception of the mummy. Beginning with the mummy in its original ancient Egyptian context, the exhibition will have a section displaying ancient Egyptian material culture and literature concerning death and the afterlife. Another component of the exhibition will focus on the use of mummies in medicine, beginning in the early twentieth century with the public unwrapping of mummies in England, and the medical testing and analysis of mummy tissue and use of CAT scanning of mummies in order to understand ancient disease. The third aspect of the exhibition will cover the modern reception of the mummy in popular culture, including the use of ancient Egyptian architectural styles in nineteenth and twentieth century cemetery architecture, the use of the mummy in the design of objects such as souvenirs, cosmetic packaging and children’s objects, and the mummy as sinister film star, particularly in regard to the idea of the mummy’s curse in twentieth and twenty-first century horror films. 

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