Exhibition: ‘A Century of Home Cinema: from Projector to Smartphone’

From Friday 27 May until Sunday 30 October, the Limburgs Museum Venlo will organise a special exhibition on the cultural history of the ‘home movie’ as a 20th century memory practice. The exhibition stems from the NWO-funded research project ‘Changing Platforms of Ritualized Memory Practices: The Cultural Dynamics of Home Movies’ and is organised in close collaboration with its members.

Its members are Jo Wachelder, Tim van der Heijden (Maastricht University), Andreas Fickers (University of Luxembourg), Susan Aasman and Tom Slootweg (University of Groningen).

In a number of time capsules, the exhibition sheds a light on the fascinating history of making and screening home movies: from the rare recordings of a child’s first steps at the beginning of the twentieth century, to the present-day vlogs on YouTube. Throughout the twentieth century, new technologies, such as sound recording on a Super 8 camera, the advent of video technologies, and the arrival of online media platforms, have influenced how amateur movies were made and presented. Between film projector to smartphone, home cinema developed from a rather exclusive and domestic practice into an increasingly public and online form of family memory dissemination.

Besides fragments of iconic home movies, home videos, and digital clips, the exhibitions presents a wide range of historical and contextual sources, including authentic film and video apparatuses, accessories, handbooks, magazines and advertisements. A separate storyline in the exhibition tells the remarkable history of the world-famous photographer Werner Mantz and his family, who have recorded their family memories by no less than four generations while covering a period of almost hundred years.

Image: Hans van Leipsig in the role of Werner Mantz
Photo: Petra Lenssen

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