In my series “Curiosities,” I make reference to the original museum, the wünderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities, a sixteenth century vehicle of the privileged to display their diverse and fascinating trinkets. Attractively arranged for display, the wünderkammer exemplified the wealth of knowledge available through the viewing of uncommon objects.
The modern museum, in addition to providing the public access to these objects, is responsible for the degree of written context that should be displayed with them, a choice that profoundly affects the viewer’s experience of the object. Selected information or its overemphasis leads to misinterpretation of the object or an overshadowing of the object itself. Such intervention gives the museum a problematically distracting position on the mysterious personal narratives of objects. If left relatively open-ended - the only honest presentation - objects provide fodder for the imagination and inquisitive mind.
Through monochromatic, mimetic painting and drawing, I present an undistracted representation of the undisclosed and inconclusive origins of my “collection”. Mostly vernacular items, some may seem familiar and necessary, others distinctly foreign or even fantastical. Additionally, their positions on the spectrum of “value” call into question the motivations of the original craftsman and the distinct roles these objects were meant to play, their niches. My display, arranged like the wünderkammer with works in close proximity to one another in order to be read as sections of a whole, instead of categorizing according to value or functionality, intends collectively to convey the idiosyncratic wonders of everyday objects.