25 Oct 2011
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The Blue Oyster’s Reading Room has been transformed by several Dunedin artists into a Cabinet of Curiosities. This experimental space shows sculpture, jewellery, painting and photography exploring the concept of Kunst- und Wunderkammern (art and wonder room).
Featuring Dan Roberts, Anne-Mieke Ytsma, Craig Freeborn and Mariya Semenova.
Curated by Suzanne Claessen.
The Blue Oyster’s Reading Room has been transformed by several Dunedin artists into a Cabinet of Curiosities. This experimental space shows sculpture, jewellery, painting and photography exploring the concept of Kunst- und Wunderkammern (art and wonder room). This is a type of exhibition and collection space that emerged in Europe in the seventeenth century in which collectors sought to create mini-cosms of the world by acquiring and presenting a plethora of objects and artefacts.
In the Cabinet of Curiosities a tension between fiction and science becomes visible through artefacts that are presented as both scientific objects and unreliable story-telling creations. From a wild unicorn captured by scientists exploring the ‘new land’ to a cave painting created by an unknown Dunedin-based community – these are elements of one particular Dunedin Myth.
The Cabinet of Curiosities explores elements of story telling – the primitive and irresistible desire we all have to construct narratives about our surroundings and histories. It also raises questions about exhibition environments that are often taken for granted: is it a museum? A gallery? A scientific archive? A domestic display space? Or is it a personal obsession? The viewer is challenged to distinguish between elements recognised from the outside world and from their own imagination.
Dan Roberts is currently studying at the Dunedin School of Art. Anne-Mieke Ytsma is a Dunedin-based jeweller, who owns the jewellery label Underground Sundae. Art school dropout and anxiety ridden neo figurative painter Craig Freeborn is an artist based in Dunedin. Mariya Semenova majors in photography at the Dunedin School of Art.
The Cabinet of Curiosities exhibition is part of the curatorial internship Suzanne Claessen is undertaking as part of her Museum Studies course at the University of Amsterdam.
Exhibition runs from October 25 2011 - November 26 2011
Blue Oyster Art Project Space
Basement Moray Chambers Building, Blue door, down alleyway opposite Rialto, 24b Moray Place, Dunedin.
Title: Group show – ‘Dunedin’s Cabinet of Curiosities’ Exhibition preview
Venue: The Blue Oyster’s Reading Room
Date: 25 October 2011