Statues Also Die by Adam Broomberg and Monika Orpik

“Statues also die” focuses on the role of the museum as an institution and its policy regarding the collections. In contrast to institutions in Europe, which collections are mostly purchased by the state, Israel Museum, based in Jerusalem, was created using an American framework, where the emphasis is put on the donations from abroad. Thanks to establishing friends’ organisations in USA and Europe, Israel Museum, managed to build a network of supporters, who kindly invested in the museum through expansion of its collection. Broomberg and Orpik try to explore the parallel between the possession of African art collection held in Israel Museum and the state’s policy towards Palestine and its possessions, be it land, customs, or emotional property. Most of the objects, specifically African masks, are presented without any ritual or spiritual context, which was their primary function. Isolated from one another in the vitrines and under the great lights, seem tame and harmless as the viewer can only experience their aesthetic role put by their subsequent owners.