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This article discusses the semiotic and affective affordances of a regional museum on the west coast of Australia’s only island state, Tasmania. Shorty’s Private Collection is a small museum displaying items collected from around the region, with a focus on resuscitated mining materials. The owner also creates figures derived from popular culture from these items. The article uses the methodology of creative non-fiction in order to situate the museum within the marginal community that it engages with, and discusses the museum in terms of Bakhtin’s theory of the grotesque and its potential to both establish and challenge dominant conceptions of the local and the limits of semiotic representation.
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