Our own Other: An Archive for the future, artistic research, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2011

Collaborative project made from March till June, 2011, with the visitors of the Tropen museum of Amsterdam, the anthropological museum of the city. It is an exploration of the relationships between image and identity, especially focusing on the representation of others at the Tropen Museum. Being so, portraiture was an essential subject and tool of the research. The participants portrayed themselves and other people using video, photography, and drawing. With their help roles such as model, spectator and author were playfully studied, resulting in spontaneous and performative representations of themselves and others. The participants were volunteers of various nationalities, age, occupation, physical and mental conditions. They were invited to do three activities: make images of themselves as visitors; represent the cultures exhibited at the museum; and the last one was to classify the people in the museum. In the first one the participants made videos and photos of themselves in the role of museum visitors. The second one also consisted in the collaborators making videos and photos of themselves, but this time reenacting the others, the people represented by the museum (Arabs, Indians, Latin Americans, etc). For the last one each participant was asked to classify the people they have seen at the museum represent them in drawing.


Our own other: An Archive for the Future, investigación artística, Tropenmuseum, Ámsterdam, Holanda, 2011

Esta investigación fue realizada en conjunto con los visitantes del museo antropológico de Ámsterdam con la ayuda de la Facultad de Humanidades de la Universidad de Ámsterdam. El tema a explorar era la relación entre imagen e identidad, especialmente en la representación del otro en el contexto postcolonial Holandés. El retrato se convirtió en la herramienta clave para investigarlo, de modo que los visitantes del museo se retrataron a si mismos y a otros utilizando video, fotografía y dibujo. Los participantes fueron voluntarios de múltiples nacionalidades, edades y profesiones, con lo que se buscó dar cierta amplitud al estudio. Ellos fueron invitados a realizar tres actividades: representarse a sí mismos como visitantes del museo; retratarse como si fueran miembros de una cultura 'exótica'; y crear sistemas de clasificación de las identidades presentes en el museo. Los resultados sorprendieron al las instituciones involucradas por su capacidad de develar tanto los prejuicios culturales como la fluidez y teatralidad con que el público del museo asume la identidad cultural propia y ajena.

Study-video of "Our own Other: An Archive for Future" from Paula Salas on Vimeo.