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Corpses, Shabtis and Japanese musical instruments

05 May 2017

Three fascinating lunchtime events at the Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum

Collection Bites: Encountering Corpses: Mummies, Museums and Materialities

 Monday 8 May at 1.30pm 

We are all living longer, and increasingly death is becoming institutionalised – something clinical that happens away from the home. So, very often the first encounter we have with a dead body is the museum mummy. And despite the vast number of objects collected and stored in museums worldwide, museum exhibition (especially of Egyptology) has privileged the display and interpretation of physical remains of the human body as the dominant site of identity for the reconstruction of ancient lives.

This talk traces our fascination with the human dead, and considers personhood, the individuation of the subject, and the changing values afforded to the human body as both an object of curiosity and the site of remembrance and identity. 

This will also include a reflection on the museum’s ethical responsibilities, informed by both collections legislation and public opinion, and will invite discussion on past and current archaeological and museological practice.

Adults, Free, Drop In

Shabtis: Suspended Truth From the Artist’s Perspective

Wednesday 10 May at 2pm 

Artist and archaeologist, Zahed Taj-Eddin will talk about his research in Egyptian faience, his sculptural practice and his current exhibition in the Ancient World gallery at the Manchester Museum. The installation, ‘Shabtis: Suspended Truth’ employs an ancient material to explore important contemporary social issues and confront pressing human themes including consumerism, freedom of speech and the refugee crisis.

Adults, Free, Book in advance or ring 0161 306 1581

Japanese Musical Instruments

Thursday 11 May at 2pm 

Leeds College of Music student, Thomas Wood and instrument-maker, Jamie Stewart, invite you to a truly unique, musical afternoon at Manchester Museum. This visit is an extension of their collaboration that hopes to teach others a little more about ancient Asian instruments.

Accompanying them on their visit will be the Dan Bau, Ehru, Guqin, Pipa and Saxian. Five handmade replica instruments with five equally vast and intriguing histories, some of which first date back to three thousand years ago.

Feel free to come along and discuss the instruments, how they are made and performed, what composing for them was like and even try them out too! To finish, a short 10 minute video documenting Jamie’s workshop, materials and processes will be shown, with background music composed from the instruments themselves. 

Adults, Free, Drop In