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Paper Details

Author: Nick Prior

Title: The Slug and the Juggernaut? Museums, Cities, Rhythms

Year: 2009

ISBN: 1-900522-68-3

This article offers up an approach to the urban embeddedness of museums. It begins by assessing some potential approaches to museums and cities propelled by a theoretical preoccupation with modernity as a condition of speed. Here, we can extrapolate two variants in the writings and interventions of Marinetti, Simmel, Virilio and writers in the postmodern tradition; 1) the museum is slow, it is a brake on modernity, it is modernity’s sedentary other, and 2) the museum is fast, it is as quick as the city, reflecting modernity’s impulse towards acceleration. In order to finesse these approaches, the article will move towards the method of rhythmanalysis. It is Lefebvre’s teasing last snippets on the concept of rhythm, the paper will argue, presaged by Benjamin’s approach to the variant tempos of modernity in The Arcades Project, that point to a fuller and more advanced approach to urban-museological relations and the multiple rhythms that feature in both.

Wall art