Pop-up nostalgia museum turns ordinary objects into exhibits at Lakeshore

by | Apr 6, 2019 | A&E, Lakeshore

Clement Goh, Senior Reporter

Pylons surrounded an empty car beside the L-Commons Field at Humber’s Lakeshore campus. Inside, food wrappers and magazines were scattered throughout the interior. 

Descriptions are placed on seemingly ordinary items, from coffee cups to running shoes and condoms.  

What the Nostalgia is Weird pop-up exhibit did was display ourselves. Guests played the role of time-travelers and examined the life of a Millennial in 2019.

Victoria Hudson-Muir, Post-Grad Humber Arts Administration student (pictured left), takes guests into the year 2019 to examine the life of a millennial. The exhibit challenges the word “heritage” and how it’s reserved for significant items in history. (Clement Goh)

The Thursday exhibit also broke down the meaning of what “heritage” means in museums. In this case, normal everyday objects are exaggerated into valuable artifacts found in the car.

Victoria Hudson-Muir, actress and student in Humber’s Arts Administration and Cultural Management program, tells the story of Maya, the fictional owner of the silver four-door Chevy. 

“Our civilization wouldn’t be the same without her,” said Hudson-Muir, who played the role of futuristic tour guide Veronica.

According to Veronica, Maya was a typical Humber student with a busy lifestyle. The car’s messy appearance was designed to instantly connect with students at Lakeshore.

It’s also a satirical way to tell people anything can become valuable over time.

“The most important thing about history is that it is interpreting a person who is of great significance to our society,” Veronica said. “That person needs to have great significance in order for us to interpret their history.”

Rysia Andrade, exhibit organizer and Arts Administration Intern at Expect Theatre, believes it’s important for people to see themselves reflected in museums

An ordinary coffee cup becomes a valuable artifact in Nostalgia is Weird. The art event pokes fun at museums, and how history can be defined by past norms. (Clement Goh)

“If you can see a reflection of your own life, then you can understand the potential you have to be as great as the people you see in museums,” she said.

Jennifer Bazar, Curator at the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre, said her department didn’t hesitate to support the exhibit. 

“I think it problematizes how we think about heritage,” Bazar said. “It sort of questions some of our long held assumptions and I think it also speaks to a bigger issue or bigger conversation that’s happening right now with museums at large.”

She also liked Nostalgia is Weird for challenging the idea of preserving certain things for history while leaving everything else unrecorded.

“All of our stories are important to be a part of history, and that we should rethink how we tell those stories,” she said.