Marina Otero Verzier and Katia Truijen (Het Nieuwe Instituut R&D department) present a paper at the international MuseumNext conference in Rotterdam on 28 June 2017 that examines the role of museums in the construction of the history of the city and its inhabitants.
The presentation discusses new approaches to the research, archive and representation of precarious, non-author-based, and often criminalised spatial practices in the institutional framework of a museum. Taking as a departure point the collective research that Het Nieuwe Instituut is conducting into squatting as an architectural practice (Architecture of Appropriation), they examine the role that museums have in the construction of the history of the city and its inhabitants.
The squatting movement has played a major role in the design of the urban fabric and the domestic interior, and proposed alternatives to the dominant, market-oriented housing policies. To acknowledge their legacy, this case study will form the basis for a new acquisition policy for the State Archive for Dutch Architecture. The presentation examines the case of Architecture of Appropriation, a project that deals with the collection and publication of the spatial practices of the squatting movement. It analyses the impact of the representation of these informal spatial practices within the institutional framework of a museum, while acknowledging the fragility of these communities and the need to carefully limit the processes of institutional appropriation. It also assesses the role of museums as social and political agents.
The MuseumNext European conference brings more than 750 professionals from all over the world to Rotterdam from 26-28 June 2017 to discuss the future of museums.