Monthly Archives: September 2016

Curating Tragedy

To quote the Alan Jackson song, where were you when the world stopped turning, that September day?

Melbourne was supposed to be next, but today snuck up unexpectedly fast and I wanted to get some thoughts out On This Day.

I had the recent great fortune of going on a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the 9/11 section of the Smithsonian’s American History museum. The curator-tour-guide was talking about the curating challenges that this particular event presented and how they ended up focusing on the stories of the people involved – the victims, the responders, ordinary Americans. Anything too close to the ongoing(?) wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would tread dangerously political terrain far outside the Museum’s purview. One of the 9/11 curators, Peter Liebhold, wrote up something on the museum’s website about the challenges of curating for this event:

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There And Back Again…

… A Domer’s Tale

(Part 1 here, Part 2 here)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I might be mildly obsessed with the LOTR films … It might not be obvious, but I’ve probably left some clues…

Anyway, after my adventures in Wellington, I left really early for a flight to Rotorua. 6 or 7am in Wellington is pretty dead in the city. I hopped a bus to the airport, where the outside was emblazoned with “THE MIDDLE OF MIDDLE EARTH” in an Elvish font. Ok, that was just a little too much and I was better able to empathize with my hostel concierge’s complaint that there’s more to New Zealand than Middle Earth. Then I walked inside and there was a massive Gollum swimming through the air after some fish, who were suspended over the coffee/donuts section of the lobby. But the part that was cool were the costumes. They had Fili and Kili’s costumes at the airport, as well as the costumes of their scale doubles.


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Uh, right then.

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