Film as a means of interpreting visits and memory in Greek museums that hold dress collections. 

“I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake … suddenly the memory returns. The taste was of the little crumb of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray…my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of real or of lime-flower tea”. 

Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 1, Swann’s Way 

The aim of this essay is to research and raise awareness on the current status of dress collections in Greek museums, in terms of the curatorial perspectives and atmosphere of the museum spaces, using an experiential research approach. Visits to five Greek museums have been documented using video, photography and moving image tools with a focus on capturing and interpreting the impact of the personal museum experience. The collected footage has been used to make a film that examines the ideas of the museum experience, marginalised dress and the process of slower and closer looking as a learning tool. 

The hypothesis that objects that relate to one’s past, national identity and autobiography remain unknown and unexplored dictated a rather personal, reflective research approach. The deeply personal, multilayered nature of the project is expressed and investigated in various artistic explorations. The interdisciplinary research and methodology draw upon evidence taken from conducting primary research in museum spaces in Greece. I have used creative writing, filmmaking and textual analysis as core methodologies. Textual analysis for this project includes visual analysis of the museum spaces and objects as well as analysis of the film while editing the footage. The literature analysis looks at publications mainly from the field of Museology. Furthermore, spatial and visual analyses have been vital methodologies in the process of constructing arguments and exploring the topic. 

As a researcher with Greek heritage my intention through this research is to promote and propose an alternative in looking at and experiencing the museum space – especially museum spaces in Greece. The film ‘Letter to the museum: narrating a museum experience’ is presented on a website created for the needs of this project and as the only exhibit of an unconventional virtual exhibition. 

Project Supervisor: Professor Jeffrey Horsley

MA Fashion Curation 2019/2020, London College of Fashion