Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wunderkammer (again and again)

After reading Umberto Eco's Infinity of Lists, thoughts of the wunderkammer reappeared (as they often do) in addition to the presentation of collections based on old curiosity cabinets. Here are some images that I have pondered over the past couple weeks featured in Eco's book.

Johann Georg Hainz, Collector's Cabinet, 1666, Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle

From Eco (page 203): "Most of what remains of the Wunderkammern are pictorial representations or etchings in their catalogs. Sometimes they were made up of hundreds of tiny shelves holding stones, shells, the skeletons of curious animals and sometimes masterpieces of the taxidermist's art capable of producing non existing animals. Other times they are cupboards, like miniature museums, full of compartments containing items that, removed from their original context, seem to tell senseless or incongruous stories."

Reliquary Urn with pebbles from the Holy Land, 17th century, Paris, Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée

 A place that I must visit someday: the Museo del Tempo Ozzano Taro.

The three images above come from this source.

Part of me wants to spend years toiling away on a site-specific wunderkammer that no one is aware of much like Marcel Duchamp's Etant Donné.

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