Red Location Museum

Red Location Museum in Port Elizabeth

THE RED LOCATION MUSEUM is a primary development of the Red Location Cultural Precinct  which is a not-for-commercial urban renewal development under the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. It is designed to challenge conventional views of  Museum design. It draws on the work of Andreas Huyssen who had written extensively on the concept of memory and history. Visitors are not treated as consumers but active participants. The conventions of representing history as a single story are challenged through the design of the Museum spaces. The past is represented as a set of memories that are disconnected yet bound together by themes. The concept of the Memory Box is used to achieve these ends. These boxes are inspired by the boxes that migrant workers used to accommodate their prized possessions when separated from their families. These memory boxes were highly treasured. The Museum comprises a series of 12 unmarked, rusted boxes offering a set of different memories of struggle in South Africa. The boxes are housed in the main exhibition space and each box is 6 meter by 6 meter and twelve meters tall. The contents of the boxes are revealed only on entry - there is no sequence - the contents and themes of the boxes are juxtaposed - the experience in each box is a total one. The spaces between the boxes are spaces of reflection - what Huyssen calls the twilight of memory.

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