Object Ecologies

  • From: November 4, 2018     To: March 15, 2019
Object Ecologies

In this collection of mobile museums things of many kinds are displayed. These displays refer to the complex world of images and objects: their making, their circulation, and the issues at stake when they are moved from one place and time to another. Each mobile museum is curated with differing intentions and effects. The first, Freighted, curated by Fritha Langerman details the global perambulations of the rhinoceros,presenting it as an object of spectacle, study, currency and desire. It refers to the complex history of colony, power and acquisition in relation to early collections of natural history, and the relevance of this to 21st century collections, as well as the crisis in which many species find themselves today. The second, Chest convened by Nina Liebenberg, engages the botanical ecology of a medicine chest that travelled with its owner from Cape Town to the interior, on a hunting expedition in 1913. The chest is contextualised in an array of ways, by the visualisation and materialisation of  illness and its treatment. The third, Vanquished by Pippa Skotnes, expresses histories of death and sacrifice in three iterations. These present objects and images that convoke histories of colonial decimation, world war and the captivity of animals. The fourth is Object Ecologies, assembled by emerging curators. In this set of cabinets, students from the Honours in Curatorship programme at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in collaboration with Iziko, subject museum objects to contemporary scrutiny, asking of them how they may speak to issues of today as well as those that accrued to them in the past. The exhibition is presented by the Centre for Curating the Archive at the University of Cape Town.

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