100 contemporary images by a group of international photographers make museums and galleries the stars of the show.
Sir John Soane’s collections ‘return’ to his west London home as part of the exhibition A new exhibition opening in London this November will explore the art of the curator. Wundercamera will bring together photography of the world’s museums and galleries to offer an illuminating view of the ways in which cultural venues display their works – and how visitors behave around them.
The compelling collection of images will create an exhibition of exhibitions in PM Gallery & House, Ealing, west London, running from 22 November 2013 – 11 January 2014.
As the work in PM Gallery presents images of curated exhibition spaces, another area of the exhibition will ‘return’, photographically, parts of Sir John Soane’s eclectic collection of art and antiquities (now housed at Sir John Soane’s Museum) to their original home, Pitzhanger Manor, which adjoins the Gallery. The result will be an intriguing speculation on how Pitzhanger’s remarkable Soane interiors would have looked when filled with his equally remarkable objects.
All Wundercamera images present an immediate hall of mirrors-type effect, as photographers capture pictures of exhibits which have already been carefully displayed in a certain way by a museum curator; this approach can lead the viewer to focus on the overall presentation of the display rather than the individual object itself.
The works focus on different aspects of the museum and gallery experience, with the individual photographers providing diverse interpretations of the photographed museum scenes. Louise Lawler, for example, uses the camera to show incomplete crops of both exhibits and spaces, while Karl Grimes’ or Hiroshi Sugimoto’s reproductions of dioramas, exclude all signs of a museum background in favour of a detailed image, making the exhibit appear more realistic than it might have seemed in the museum setting.
Vid Ingelevics’ pictures provide an alternative point of view, often turning away from the museum galleries and into adjoining rooms; Matt Stuart and Traer Scott use the camera to preserve often humorous visual relationships between visitors and exhibits.
Mark Dion’s series Ursus Maritimus [II] is a new collection of images of stuffed polar bears that he has encountered in different international museums, while Karen Knorr and Valery Katsuba construct and photograph specific set-ups in exhibition spaces.
The new Pitzhanger Manor installation ‘returns’ some of Soane’s many varied artefacts to the rooms in which he displayed them initially. Museum Clausum’s Now and Then is a combination of grainy black-and-white images and sharp colour photographs of the collections at Sir John Soane’s Museum, while the video installation, Soane Time, suggests a time warped CCTV link to the Lincoln’s Inn Fields museum.
Wundercamera will offer both an arresting visual experience and a meditation on museum culture, the art of collecting and the medium of photography.
PM Gallery & House
Mattock Lane, Ealing
London W5 5EQ United Kingdom
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