Date: 01/03/2011–13/01/2013 Subject: 20 years of Ötzi – Ötzi20 special exhibition, Museum of Archaeology, Bozen Information: Katharina Hersel and Kunigunde Weissenegger, South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Museumstr. 43, I-39100 Bozen, tel. +39 0471 320114, fax: +39 0471 320122 e-mail: email@example.com web: www.oetzi20.it www.iceman.it THE EXHIBITION TOUR (entrance) In the entrance area to the Museum, visitors are greeted with the installation “Iceman Frozen, Scanned and Plotted” by the British artist Marilène Oliver. This artistic installation refers to the intention of the exhibition: Ötzi is located at the centre and is shown in a very wide range of aspects. The artist translated CT scans of the mummy into plot points, then drilled them layer for layer into acrylic sheets and fused them together into a block. Oliver drilled data points (for the most part virtually composed in order to conceptualise each section) into sheets, then fused them together into a solid block. The man from the ice appears in these drillings, in the holes where the light is caught and broken, and at the same time disappears again; the light that reveals him also resolves him. It appears as if he is radiating from the block into which he was drilled, shadowy and fleeting. The artist uses her installation to visualise the inconceivable: the imaging procedures of medicine resolve the represented body into data and plot points in order to achieve scientific visibility. Oliver materialises this data as sculpture: sculptures that show and incarnate the resolved body in a completely different way from that intended by imaging procedures. LIFE (mezzanine floor) Media reports from the first hours, projected onto a spatial-graphical glacier landscape, whisk visitors from the mezzanine floor into the exciting, hectic time of the actual discovery. Interviews with people who were directly involved in the find give a living picture of the euphoria that surrounded Ötzi. The first days following the discovery and the related interpretations of the origin and age of the mummy are depicted in episodic fashion. The Iceman is today one of the best-known mummies in the world as well as a milestone in human history – media reports from all over the world serve to confirm his fame. In the German-speaking world, the Iceman is most commonly known as “Ötzi”. How did he get his name? In an interview Karl Wendl, the man who came up with the name, recounts for the first time how he came up with the idea of calling the mummy “Ötzi”. On the stairs, a graphic mobile accompanies visitors to the next floor with a selection of the over one hundred different names with which the mummy from the Tisenjoch was at first dubbed by the media. REALITY (first floor) The first floor with the Iceman and the associated finds has been transformed into a snow and ice landscape for the special exhibition. The content was revised in the light of the latest scientific developments in order to underline the uniqueness of the objects and consciously to direct visitors’ attention to the details of the individual finds. For the first time too, the costly and complex preservation technology used for the mummy and the finds will be shown. Visitors are actively involved: they can feel the coldness of the cold cell or examine the technology of the showcases. The “Discovery Room” is an activity area dedicated to various materials, intended for experimentation and trying things out: who was capable of creating Ötzi’s birchbark container? How can cords be made out of tree bast? What does it feel like to wear Ötzi’s fur coat? SCIENCE (second floor) The habitat of the Alpine areas during the Copper Age comes alive on the second floor of the Museum of Archaeology and is supplemented by important finds from the Alpine region and a specially constructed Copper Age field. What did people cultivate in the Copper Age? How were fields worked? What was the Copper Age diet like? What did a Copper Age village look like? Visitors will find that the research of the last twenty years provides plenty of answers to these questions. Further into the exhibition, visitors can learn close-up about the methods and working processes of scientists and themselves carry out investigations into the mummy at an interactive multimedia station. A touchscreen opens up a virtual body of the mummy, allowing features that are of note from a medical perspective to be seen and studied. Microscopes also offer a view of Ötzi’s bone structure, which allowed researchers to determine his age. Objects, devices and other items used during the investigations illustrate a wide range of scientific research methods. The discovery of an arrowhead in Ötzi’s left shoulder in 2001 added special interest to the finds. The criminal case is reopened in the exhibition, with each visitor able to offer their contribution to the solving of the case. Another area is dedicated to current investigations, particularly the decoding of his genomic DNA which is being investigated by the scientists of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at EURAC in Bozen/Bolzano. These and all other current research results are being presented during the course of the exhibition. The exhibition will thus constantly evolve in order to remain up to date while showing visitors the latest scientific discoveries. One of the high points of the exhibition is the new reconstruction of Ötzi by the brothers Adrie and Alfons Kennis from the Netherlands. It will be presented to the public for the first time at the exhibition vernissage. The reconstruction will permanently change the image we have had of the Iceman until now. He has been modelled using forensic methods with the help of computer tomography data and a three-dimensional reconstruction of his skull. This complex work is clarified by means of projections of the production process. Further on, visitors can meet some of the numerous existing reconstructions. Photo artist Brigitte Niedermair has photographed various Ötzi reconstructions in different European museums. She calls the life-size men from the ice a “Tableau Vivant”. This unusual comparison of five Ötzis provides an interesting view of the differing interpretations of historical material. FICTION (third floor) Hardly any other mummy has so provoked and inspired people to think about the circumstances of human life. On the third floor we present, for the first time in the context of an exhibition, an insight into the archives of the University of Innsbruck and the Museum of Archaeology in Bozen/Bolzano and the numerous unusual – and often strange – letters, media reports, documents and books surrounding the finding of the Iceman. This offers a selection of the items sent to the scientists and the Museum over the last twenty years. It is easy to imagine the existence of Ötzi souvenirs such as ice cream and pizza that have been named after him. It is somewhat more unusual when people get in touch and state that they are the reincarnation of Ötzi, or that he is living today, reborn as a female shop assistant in Graz. These and many other weird stories await visitors. The worldwide interest in Ötzi, for example the discovery that his death was in fact a crime, is indicated through a total of over 20 issues of the National Geographic magazine from around the globe, in many different languages (and showing many different articles). As well as Ötzi’s life in the Copper Age, people are also interested in his existence today. Who takes the decisions about him? How much is he worth? How did he end up in Bozen/Bolzano? The exhibition gives detailed information about many of these frequently asked questions. An artistic interpretation of the numerous cinematic reconstruction attempts finally gives a humorous impression of how today’s media people imagine the life of Ötzi. Finally we ask the question of how things will continue: in four short statements, decision- makers and executives from South Tyrol give their views on the future prospects for the Museum and its world-famous “object”.
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