‘The Greatest Collection of Rare Animals’ Week 3 project

Autumn Assessment 2nd and 3rd Year

During the third week, after the visit to a Zoology museum and having talked with the group(Olivia, Alice, me and Jess) about our ideas and inspirations. We have decided on the installation that would bring the distinct idea of how people are using animal resources for their own benefits as luxury objects of interior and jewelry, to the extent that they become extinct.So this became the starting point of our project.

“The Greatest Collection of Rare Animals”

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This art piece was influenced by cabinets of curiosity, and artists like Polly Morgan, Mark Dion, Damien Hirst and Fiona Hall with her ‘Cash Crop’,1998. Hundreds of animal species are extinct because of human desires for uniqueness, luxury and pride.

For this art installation we have used scientific glass containers that we have borrowed from Zoology Museum. The Glass container emphasizes peoples desire to collect something that should not be kept in museums or killed for that purposes (such as Taxidermy). The glass containers are empty, to illustrate that these objects are no longer in the world.

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The idea that we undertaken from the museum, is the way that Labels are being placed, and objects being categorized by classifications. We have picked a number of animals that are extinct, and placed their scientific names on place cards, to illustrate the idea of Museum Collection, and also give an audience a feeling of a phantom animal inside the jars of the cabinet, while we are unable to view them, the labeling gives a possibility of imagination to proceed.

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The title plays a really important role, in the interpretation of the piece. We have chosen ‘The Greatest Collection of Rare Animals’ as it shows the ironical idea of exhibiting something that is no longer there. ‘The Greatest Collection’ brings the context of the way, people like to collect things that they either do not need or things that are actually not supposed to be seen in such circumstances ( as animals in formalin or taxidermy).

These multiple ideas under the contextualized piece illustrate the desire and passion of humans for collection, and giving the objects the immortality within the living world.

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Art installation focusing on the brining the idea of conscience to the viewer, that the obsession of collecting can bring alive things into a state where they just disappear. When I was doing research on Poly Morgan, I have looked at the interview she gave to BBC, and the interesting thing she said about her work, that : ‘The terror lies in life more than death. Death is a peaceful state, whereas fight for life and to stay alive is more scary.’ In  my personal opinion, it links to this installation, as the exhibition, becomes the exhibition without the objects, as they are no longer alive.

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At the beginning to work as a group, we faced some difficulties with our ideas , as it would not be possible to engage with all of them. However, we have made a decision, that working as a group, we need to find a more successful illustration to the context of the project we have been given.

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