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1st Student's Major

Art

1st Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Students' Professional Biography

I have lived in Mankato my entire life, graduating in 2006 from West High School. I began my college career at MNSU that same year. I completed my undergraduate in Art History, International Business, with a minor in Spanish, and certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. The next step in my professional career is to earn my MBA.

Mentor's Name

Curt Germundson

Mentor's Email Address

curt.germundson@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Art

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities

Abstract

In April 2003, the National Museum of Iraq was plundered and the substantial majority of its artifacts were looted. The Iraqi people have lost important elements of their socio-cultural identity; the recovery of these priceless items has been slow. By drawing on examples from past and current museum installations, this paper investigates how art has been used for formation of a new identity. Adolf Hitler‘s 1937 ―Temple of Art, for example, showed Germans that they could be descendants of a Classical ―master race.‖ The transformation of the Louvre into a public space of equality and tolerance demonstrated people‘s perseverance and need for a new national identity. Fred Wilson‘s 1992 installation in Baltimore deconstructed the validity of such a master narrative, questioning the predominance of one discourse over another. This paper argues that the restoring restoration of the stolen artifacts and their display in terms of Iraq‘s ethnic multiplicity is a vital step and an opportunity in the creation of a new and diverse Iraq, one in which the various ethnicities are given voice, counter to the identity pushed previously by Saddam Hussein. Thus, the re-conceptualization of the National Museum of Iraq into a site of heterogeneous and diverse identity formation is one of many tiers that could be used to reduce what Geert Hofstede calls the "Power Distance", helping to shape a new Iraqi nation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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