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The Grand Release

The Grand Release, Norwich Castle Museum, UK

Produced for History Rising, a subversive and engaging study of museum display in East Anglia (UK). Viewers and participants are invited to reconsider their view of history by looking at the mechanisms museums put in place to create a sense of order and hierarchy within their collections.

By distancing museum objects from their support structures History Rising forms a critique of the assumptions that are made about how things are positioned, who chooses to display them, and how the social, political and aesthetic choices that are made in the process dictate the language of display.

History Rising (2012-2015) has been conceived and developed by Marjolijn Dijkman and curator Jes Fernie

Video documentation (short): The Grand Release


The Grand Release is a mobile constellation of abstracted display objects referencing those in the Norwich Castle Museum. Each element represents a different department: the Egyptian Gallery floats alongside the Twining Teapot Gallery, which is balanced by the Anglo Saxon Gallery.

The result is a playful family tree at the heart of the museum which is released from the pressures of hierarchy and history, and which proposes a constantly changing constellation of new relationships across time and space. The colours and shapes of each element of the mobile relate directly to their original departments.

The movement of the mobile adjusts to the amount of activity within the central hall of the museum.