Video still for Ghostwriter Sandra Carluccio at The Royal Albert Memorial MuseumSandra Carluccio at The Royal Albert Memorial MuseumSandra Carluccio at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Ring the number on the wall and take a personal tour through the renovated Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter.


The woman who speaks to you recently broke her ankle. At least it seems to be recent. This quiet, intimate interactive journey hovers between late night radio and eavesdropping on someone else's phone call. As you wander the rooms you slide through time and space. Sometimes she describes objects you can see. At others you're in barn or on a lawn. Her final invitation brings you smartly back to the here and now: make a recording that will become part of the Museum's collection.

An audience member receives a phonecall

Ghostwriter is a commission for the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter as part of the relaunch of the renovated building in November 2011.

The work springs from the saying that “A million objects give rise to a million thoughts” which the museum uses as a concept for their collection. Each object in the collection carries an aura and resonates with the extraordinary histories of those who made it and used it. Ghostwriter is an interactive phone call that subtly hovers between the present and the past, between the here and the elsewhere.

Visitors ring in and hear a woman whose voice gently draws you into the museum. She describes her surroundings and they seem to match yours. She describes an object in front of her and talks about its role in her life. But this line between her surroundings and yours is unstable. At times she says things that suggest she is somewhere else looking at a different object. And you can interact with her, jumping in time and space or even making a recording of your own about an object that resonates in your life.

Ghostwriter has echoes of the museum guide, of the radio heard late at night and of the writing of Paul Auster. It has a spare, metaphysical style that is part detective novel and part internal monologue. Its ghostly tenor and rich atmosphere act as a mysterious lure towards the reinvented RAMM.

New Expressions is a partnership programme for museums in South West England. It pioneers sustainable collaboration with artists and audiences to invigorate museum collections, buildings and spaces. It enables museums to commission new work and to join forces with contemporary artists to create high quality, participative projects and compelling visitor experiences.

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