A bit of order can’t hurt. But what kind of order suits our collection? Areas and epochs? “Art,” “Africa,” “manuscripts,” “Islam,” “modernity”? Museums operate with such terms – visitors are used to them.
Our order, we readily admit, feels a bit unusual. It has no patience with the old categories. “Fertile crescent” – never heard of it. And then “pattern”, “hair” or “rubber”… What are we talking about? Well, “modernity” or “art” are not that much descriptive either. At least, our terms have the advantage to exhibit their arbitrariness. After all, everything could be completely different.