An inclusive look at the 16th century. Augmented reality in the Erasmus House, Brussel, Erasmus House, 2022, coll. Colloquia in museo Erasmi, No. 52.
The Erasmus House has come up with the idea of plunging its visitors into the 16th century, interactively through augmented-reality, an immersive experience that enables visitors to become active participants and also to see some emblematic works in the museum’s holdings from a critical and inclusive perspective totally in tune with the times.
There are many places in Belgium and elsewhere dedicated to famous men. They give the impression that history and art history consist only of men and mostly White heterosexual men. We have come to know these disciplines as unique scholarly narratives that are neutral in the choice of sources and the way they are written. But on closer inspection, these narratives are not neutral. They are written by whitemen, for white men, with a focus on the West. Museums take these stories and, in turn, pass them on to the public. The stories and sources also speak of women and other minorities, but they do so taking the fantasised views of scholarly men, producing fixed representations of women and peasants that are far removed from reality.
It is therefore necessary to read between the lines, to deconstruct these stereotypes in order to discover a history in the plural, stories that allow us to take the great Erasmus off his pedestal and include him in the crowd that accompanied him, that is, the multifaceted society of the 16th century in which he lived, consisting of women, nobles and servants, great benefactors and necessary stewards, members of the disadvantaged classes or travellers from faraway lands, and invalids whom he might have met in church squares or elsewhere.
All that remains of these figures are shadows, fragments of history, and if the holdings of the ErasmusHouse tell us a story from a male point of view, it takes only a little attention to realise that other stories are possible. They are the ones we are going to tell you…»
Azam Masoumzadeh (Zam Zadeh)
IPM Printing, january 2022
Photos of the works exhibited in the museum: Royal Institute of Art Heritage (IRPA)
The publication is on sale at the museum reception (2 €).
Statutory Deposit: January 2022
© 2022 – Erasmus House & Beguinage Anderlecht
A project initiated by the Erasmus House & Beguinage, supported by visit.brussels
Marcel Vermeulen – Place du Conseil 1 – 1070 Anderlecht