Museums everywhere now display fragments of their own past displays, often in the form of ancestral cabinets presented as autobiographical introductions. What is the meaning of this introspective and retrospective “return to curiosity” in museography? Reconnoitering a fistful of iconic museums in and around London and Madrid, I suggest that the all-encompassing metatrope of curiosity begs a deeper question: What is the museum a museum of?
The echoes that Andrés Guerrero hears and shares with us here are strictly inequivalent: the one is an echo of an archival silence, the other of sensational newsflashes. The newsflash conjures more telling silences, and perhaps a film (Biutiful comes to mind); but the echo of such silences demands not film but theory. How so?