Museum of Knowledge

Mental Maps

Mental Maps

I walked into an exhibit in Budapest, and to my horror, I thought I had walked into my office back in the States. Plastered across the barren-white walls were posterboard-sized mental maps (“mind maps” I call them, for sorting/aggregating/classifying topics and ideas). But the more closely I looked, I realized that at the Dorottya Gallery on ultra-chic Vorosmarty ter, that a new kind of musem was born: The Knowledge Museum.

Here, Bucharest-based artist Lia Perjovschi “proposed an imaginary museum… which comprises drawings, objects, charts, photos, and color prints, [and] is an objectification of the mass of information the artist has acquired through reading, travelling, and creative work. The ‘mental map’ thus created offers a view into those processes of selection that define the artist’s attitude towards the world, her methods of associating things, of building her own understanding of the world.”

First of all, we all need to create a mental map to declutter and organize our messy lives. Everyone’s map would be vastly different, and quite foreign to the next person, but strikingly clear and concise to its owner. All of this is very exciting. Sharing mental maps would be like peeking into your lunch bag in the cafeteria.

“Whatchu got?”

“Reese’s Cups. Whatchu got?”

“A fruit cup.”

[Mortified stare by Mr. Reese’s Cup]

Perjovschi, a collector, created the idea in part because of her interest in “shifting the focus from the spectacle to the learning process.” A disagregated collection, or one where all the parts don’t flow together in some organized way can create 1) bad feng shui, and 2) the anxiety that each individual piece should knock your socks off. But how about if that one particular piece is there not on its own accord, but because it was placed to round out the rest of the collection? To round out your mental map/world view?

Someone could write a thesis on this topic. Or a brief. But I… won’t. THAT’s really too much like work.

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