chapter  4
25 Pages

“There might be an Indian background, but the theme is global”

HEART Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning 2010
ByCathrine Bublatzky

With the arrival of Indian Highway at the HEART Museum (Herning, Denmark), the notion of the museum as a cultural contact zone and its role of transculturality are the focus of this chapter. After an introduction to the venue and the exhibition space, the museum as contact zone is discussed, along with leading approaches in anthropology. Along with some analysis of selected artworks, the discussion turns towards the museum as it functions rather more as a permeable space of transcultural encounter than as a contact zone and supports the idea of the transcultural fabric of the exhibition as it is constituted by the different symbolic significations that various agents read into Indian Highway. The last part of the chapter again turns towards the conversation with the local curator Stinna Toft and observations during a guided tour of the exhibition space and discussing Toft’s idea that “Art can, you know, open up – in a way, it will move people.” Observations of engagements between visitors, curator, artworks, and also the anthropologist are provided to deepen the understanding of what kind of discourses an exhibition is able to spark. In the last part on planning and curating the exhibition, the chapter provides another facet of different discourses in Europe and India and what setting up an exhibition on Indian contemporary art actually means from the different perspectives.