ABSTRACT

In November 2010 the Museum of Copenhagen opened a new semi-permanent exhibition called Becoming a Copenhagener. The exhibition was part of a rebranding of and change in strategy for the museum, with a move towards a more personal approach within its exhibitions and outreach activities. We aimed to move away from the chronological organization of exhibitions that had hitherto dominated the galleries of the museum, whereby visitors were able to walk through the city’s history from its earliest beginning to contemporary times, and instead move towards a more thematic interpretative approach. We were also looking for ways to develop the museum into what museologist Duncan Grewcock refers to as a ‘networked, distributed conversation’ (2006: 33). To achieve this we started an ongoing refurbishment of galleries and exhibitions within the museum, while simultaneously developing a number of outreach projects employing young people from different neighbourhoods in the city to contribute to our collections. A key element in the transformation of the museum was the creation of the prizewinning installation the WALL – a refurbished 12-metre shipping container fitted with a 10-metre-long touchscreen, which allows citizens and visitors to access thousands of images of the city from the museum’s collections and to contribute their own images of Copenhagen. Since the launch in May 2010 the installation has been moved to different locations and neighbourhoods in the city and the ongoing exchange of images has created a kind of visual dialogue about what Copenhagen is, has been and could potentially become along with what it means to be a Copenhagener (see www.vaeggen.dk; Sandahl, J., Parby, J., Smith, A., Thorbek, J. and Kryger Broe, L. 2011. 2011; Sandahl 2011; Rudloff 2011, 2012; Giersing 2012, 2013).