How did the world come to Europe? Museums of world culture have seldom questioned the logistics of transporting artefacts to the collections. This exhibition turns the ethnographic gaze onto itself. Based on photographs found in the archives of the Museum of Ethnography, Black Atlas reflects upon the administration of racialized labour for transporting material culture from foreign countries to the museum’s storage.
The 20th century history of the Museum of Ethnography left a photographic imprint. In the exhibition, this visual reliquary takes centre stage by shifting the viewer's attention from singular world travellers to the deployment of local labour. A selection of photographs and documents, presented in the form of installations, reveals the infrastructure behind the accumulation of artefacts and the required labour for bringing them to Europe. The exhibition features prominent Swedish collectors such as Eric von Otter, Eric von Rosen, Gerhard Lindblom and Gösta Montell, as well as the nameless porters and caravan workers who carried their burdens.
Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn is a Stockholm-based artist. She was the first artist-in-residence at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm. The residency was part of SWICH - Sharing a World of Inclusion, Creativity and Heritage, a collaborative project involving eleven European museums of Ethnography and World Cultures, with the aim of creating dialogues on citizenship and belonging in contemporary Europe. The exhibition is co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation.