Cabinet of Curosities

To be honest the cabinet of curiosities didnt happen, i got sucked into work for other people and my poor wonderkrammer never got made so tonight I’m going to make a start on my first ever cabinet of curiosities ! Here is a peek at some of the items I found to put this together. Most of my stuff is in bin bags from a house move ages ago so this is all i have the patience to look for however i have some amazing thing i cannot wait to unearth!  Anyway for now here are the bits and bobs i found

“[We were] drawn to the sheer audacity of the attempt to explain existence, to create an artwork that embodied a microcosm and explained how we know what we know.” A quote from Mark dion referring to one of my favorite works of his- Theatrum Mundi: Armarium, 2001.

Mark Dion (b. 1961, New Bedford, Massachusetts) and Robert Williams (b. 1960, Liverpool, United Kingdom) collaborated on a work to explore the ways in which humans have attempted to impose structure and order on a complex and chaotic natural world. Dion has described their work as “creating an encyclopedia of the methodologies of how one arranges things to make meaning.”

In Theatrum Mundi: Armarium (2001), based on a collaboration with scholars and scientists at Cambridge University, the two artists filled two nearly identical cabinets with objects representing the belief systems of two cosmologists, Ramon Llull (b. 1232, Palma de Mallorca; d. 1315, Palma de Mallorca) and Robert Fludd (b. 1574 Kent; d. 1637, London). Each cabinet could be thought of as representing a cosmologist (a scientist who studies the universe in its totality), and each shelf in each cabinet represents a different category of his theory. The top shelves of both cabinets were left empty to symbolize both men’s belief in the existence of God. The cabinets are connected by a single-shelf cabinet containing a human skeleton. The skeleton points to the limited ability of man to conceive of the universe. The artists have great awe for the “sheer audacity of the attempt to explain existence,” but also recognize how inevitably “humancentric, and thus deeply flawed” this attempt is.

Jean Vong/Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
Mark Dion, “Travels of William Bartram Reconsidered” cabinet, 2008.

I am so happy to have found the works of Mark Dion, during my time in art college i was forever on the internet finding more and more artists that inspired me to want to make work but in the year since I left I have concentrated mostly on my tattoo art and had forgotten until i made this blog a lot of the people i got such a buzz from!  Also art college is a soul destroying process and it took me almost a year since i left to find love and enjoyment from it again! Making work perhaps with a concept still but not dissecting it to death!!!! I could never explain myself in college and strangely now that i have finished I can at last, guess I just needed room to breath and not explain every tiny aspect of a piece of art i make! Anyway have a nice weekend I’m off to make my little wunderkrammer! I will have to give an entire post about Mark Dion sometime soon and in the realm of fine art he is the wonder cabinet guy!! Its impossible just to touch on it like this, but i have to leave it there for today so i can start putting my cabinet together!

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