Monday, May 04, 2009

May 4 The Collecting Impulse as Art

Mark Dion makes installations of cabinets of collections. A forerunner of museums were collections made by world travelers and explorers of the leisure class in England. They sponsored archeaology digs; collections of flora, fauna, rocks and minerals; artifacts of all kinds. The collection of antiquities, justified on the basis of preservation, eventually lead to covenants prohibiting their export from the country of origin under the 1970 UNESCO "Convention on the Means of Prohibiting the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property". Very unusual museums, such as the Museum of Jurassic Technology, have drawn MacArthur grants. The very utility of museums is open to question by very life and death practical museums such as the museums of land mines in Kabul and Siem Riep.

Mark Dion taps into our curiosity and popular notions of collecting as art and attempts to question the role of scientific classification of collections. The talks about it at the PSU Monday Night Lecture Series. Look for the sandwich board sign to find the room. Talk in Shattuck Hall, Room 212 or the Annex out front, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free