The Subversive Museum: Strategic Management of Images, Artworks and Space in a Polarized Society

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The paper investigates how a major national museum in the Nordic countries, The National Gallery of Denmark, strategically creates, reifies and subverts hegemonic images and narratives of Danish national identity. In particular, the paper focuses on the element of subversion, that is, how the museum contests dominant narratives and understandings. The paper offers an empirical and theoretical elaboration of organizational use artworks, narratives and space, in order to navigate extremely polarized national debates concerning immigration, race and multiculturalism. Theoretically, the paper connects institutional and critical theory, in order to understand both the legitimizing imperatives but also efforts to delegitimize the current status quo. The paper conceptualizes this effort as a polyvocal kind of national identity work, in which different understandings are purposefully proffered.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventCultural Heritage Branding - Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 21 Nov 201922 Nov 2019


WorkshopCultural Heritage Branding

Bibliographical note

The paper was also presented at Södertörn University, Stocholm, Sweden. November 13, 2019

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