Three Museum Objects is a series of sculptures based on objects from Zalaegerszeg’s museums and the town’s built environment. Together, these objects form a highly subjective cross-section of Zalaegerszeg’s history. The three objects come from very different physical areas of Zalaegerszeg, as well as different time periods in the region’s history. One of the objects, a metal cabinet with a series of broken and reassembled ceramic pots, is a direct copy of items in the Göcseji Museum’s collection. The other two objects are a copy of the bust of Laszlo Vajta from the Hungarian Petroleum Museum, and a copy of two concrete utility poles from the streets of Zalaegerszeg. All of the objects are duplicated at half their original size, and displayed on a series of shipping pallets, as if ready to be transported from one location to another.
By selecting a group of both mundane and historical objects for Three Museum Objects, I am endeavouring to create my own small narrative about Zalaegerszeg, perhaps from the position of a future museum curator looking back across the long history of the region. I am interested in presenting this project at the Göcseji Museum not only because it references objects in the museum’s collection, but also because the work is in large measure about the way a museum functions. When a museum displays a series of objects from its collection, the institution puts together a narrative about a place, an event, or a given period of history. However, this narrative is always shaped both by the objects available to the museum, and also by the priorities and interests of the museum at the time when the display is constructed. Hence, there is always a great deal of editing in creating these condensed narratives. The eclectic selection of objects that I am copying in Three Museum Objects makes direct reference to this process of choosing, editing, and condensing a narrative from the objects at hand.
Presented in the context of the Göcseji Museum, I hope that Three Museum Objects will make visitors reflect on the way that we assemble narratives from artefacts, and the larger way in which the narratives we call our histories are subjective, and reflect our contemporary interests and priorities.