Orchard Windows Gallery presents “Modern Curiosity” by Rachel Fagiano
The show is based around the theme of the curiosity cabinet. The creators of curiosity cabinets—the precursor to the modern museum—sought to reflect the entire cosmos in miniature form through the collection, preservation and display of the wonders of the world. Owners of curiosity cabinets would collect artwork, animals, plants, anatomy plates and cultural artifacts placing them together in a single location so that the combination of such disparate objects would induce a sense of awe in the viewer. These displays presented ‘genuine’ artifacts as factual representations of humanity and nature. In reality, curiosity cabinets were highly biased displays. World cultural objects were actively cast as ‘primitive,’ works. Plant and animal remnants were frequently genuinely understood as evidence of mythic organisms. In addition, owners of the collections knowingly displayed fake objects in the cabinets in the pursuit of obtaining the largest and most renowned collections.
Modern Curiosity seeks to play with the contradictory nature of the curiosity cabinet. Poking fun at the culture of ‘truthful’ display, the works in this show highlight and manipulate antiquated ideas regarding scientific inquiry, the natural world, and human nature. In doing so the artist acknowledges the process in which prevalent ideologies, in the art world and beyond, are constantly undergoing a process of re-conceptualization.
This exhibition is on view at the Orchard Windows Gallery, 37 Orchard St. between Hestor St. and Canal St. on the Lower East Side. There will be an opening reception for the artist on Friday, June 24th from 6-9 pm.
For further information please contact the gallery.