W U N D E R K A M M E R is a travelling show of small works that fit within the confines of a hand-luggage sized suitcase. So far it has been exhibited at Clarke Gallery in Berlin, Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada (where it was installed by Jessica Brouder) and, mostly recently, at Franklin Furnace in New York.
WUNDERKAMMER began with 11 works by Berlin-based artists but changes as it goes, as some works are sold and others taken on in each new location.
Last night I wrapped up warm and ventured to Birmingham (again), but this time to TROVE where the Clarke Gallery was hosting Wunderkammer. This is a “moving exhibition that started in Berlin, has been to New York and Canada” (Elly Clarke). She explained to me how before the pieces of art had never been presented in such a large place (usually on a table) and so it made it more interesting. TROVE is a dilapidated “Engine Room of Birmingham’s old Science and Industry Museum” with no heating and has a very deserted feel. Be it a December evening, and a cold one at that, the wind rattled the turbine at the entrance of the gallery which added to the atmosphere.
Elly spoke of how all the items were carried around in a suitcase and although she is collecting more pieces to add to the collection, she is running out of room. This almost seems ironic as the sixteen items seemed sort of lost in such a large space. Especially that of ‘Self Portrait’ which was a piece of wrapped up chewing gum. Elly and her associates utilised the space well: using an old ladder, the brick work and an old cabinet to present the work. Similarly, the pieces on the floor, couple with the low lighting, meant that the viewer had to get intimate getting to ground level with a torch.
I thoroughly loved this new experience and it made me reflect on my current project in featured. All the items displayed were not related to each other, only for the fact that they are all carried around together. However, the vanity case I own, holds things that are related. It has got me to consider a new direction in my project.