Common - Wealth Museum

Next Wave Festival, Melbourne (Aus) March 2006



The Common – Wealth museum was based in a shipping container as part of the Next Wave Festival, linked to the 2006 Commonwealth games. Visitors were invited to share their local knowledge within the context of the “Common – Wealth Museum” by completing a set of tasks. Each task invited them to express something about where they were from and also to analyse that information from a personal perspective. Each task was completed on a postcard which the visitor was invited to submit to a section of the museum – for example the Anthropology section or the Economics section. This process sought to localise to bring academic dialogue into a person arena or relevance

In turn the Common-Wealth Museum also sought to invert of the notion of museifaction and in particular the practice of 'collecting' artefacts from "other cultures" and imposing a scientific reading on that information. In opposition to this process "The Common-Wealth Museum" sought to illicit subjective readings and personal responses from ‘Museum’ visitors, who were invited to share information about the town, country or street in which they live. This re-mapping of the Common - wealth created a temporary museum collection based on local knowledge, the museum being a space in which to exchange that specialised information with other people.

Project © Jennie Savage 2006