Sofía Dourron

Museums as Carrier Bags. A Short Story Around Collecting

Museums as Carrier Bags. A Short Story Around Collecting

December 2021


Since the beginning of human time we have gathered things. According to writer Elizabeth Fisher in her 1975 seminal book Women’s Creation. Sexual Evolution and the Shaping of Society, the first ever invented cultural device was not a weapon, not even the wheel, as popular consensus might lead us to believe, surprisingly, Fisher says: “The first cultural device was probably a recipient… Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier”. Probably used to gather food and transport it home – wild oats in Ursula K. Le Guin’s fictional account of this part of history – the bag, sling or net is the original container for the things human beings are prone to collect. The container took many shapes: medicine bundle, which included all sorts of healing elements, shrines, for the sacred, cabinets, for curiosities, and so on. In the 18th century, the container took one of its most iconic formats: the museum.

En The Great Museum Project, December 2021, Seoul. [web]