Below: The Wrong Bodies installation


 

August - October 2019 'The Wrong Bodies', installation, Bergen Natural History Museum

Above: The World Views Room at the Bergen Natural History Museum. The drawer containing The Wrong Bodies is in the background.


 

Introduction

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Oct-Dec 2016, rolled bedding, recently vacated apartment room, Nygardsgaten, Bergen. Photograph 

 

Oct-Dec 2016, unoccupied rooms, forensic investigation training house, Nottingham. Photographs

 

Oct-Dec 2016, unoccupied room, forensic investigation training house. Video

 

Apr 2017 recently vacated room, asylum hostel, Voss. Photograph

 

Apr 2017 recently vacated room, asylum hostel, Voss. Video work

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Feb 2017, 'Birdsong'.

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Mar 2017 material from PKU Spring Forum, first presentation

 

Mar 2018 PKU Spring Forum, second presentation

 

Apr 2018 paper delivered to 2018 SAR conference, Plymouth

 

Mar 2019 PKU Spring Forum, third and final presentation

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May 2017 'A performance after a performance', Voksenåsen, Video work

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Aug - Oct 2017 video work: coats in corridor, chairs in gymnasium, nr. Helsinki; rolled-bedding, recently vacated apartment, Bergen

 

Nov 2017 the empty walls of DH's studio

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Oct 2017 'Between, Before, After, Elsewhere'. Exhibition at Kunstgarasjen, Bergen

 

Jan 2018 KMD, image and situatedness

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Feb 2018 'The objects perform themselves', Bergen. Photo & Video documentation of performance

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Mar 2018 CCFT fieldwork, Agios Sozomenos, Cyprus

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June 2018 initial tests with hospital ventilators. Video documentation

 

Apr-May 2019 'It's only when I rest that I sense your presence', installation, HKS, Bergen

 

Apr-May 2019 It's only when I rest that I sense your presence, text work, HKS, Bergen

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July 2018 'In silence', performance, Berlin. Audio realisation of performance and photo documentation

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Nov 2018 A Foreign Body: Absence, a denial of presence. Transplanting a Sitka spruce tree. Tælavåg. Video work

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Feb 2019 'Foreign Bodies, Empty Rooms', Bergen Natural History Museum. Audio-visual realisation of performance

 

Aug - Oct 2019 'The Wrong Bodies', installation, Bergen Natural History Museum

 

Aug - Oct 2019 'The Wrong Bodies', text work, Bergen Natural History Museum

 

Oct 2019 The Museum's Wrong Bodies, presentation at Bergen Natural History Museum

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July 2019 'Between our words, I will trace your presence' (1st iteration) performed at Cracking the Established order

 

Oct 2019 Between our Words... (2nd iteration), performed in UN Buffer Zone, Nicosia, Cyprus

 

Feb 2020 'Between our words, I will trace your presence' (3rd iteration) performance at Borealis Festival. Audio documentation

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Feb - Mar 2020 abortive (pre-Covid) plans for final artistic result at Bergen Natural History Museum.

 

May 2020 Lecture on revised work in progress toward final artistic result, to staff and students at KMD

 

October 2020 Artist's book, The Wrong Bodies, based on work on the body and institutional silence, at Bergen Natural History Museum

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Artistic Result

 

Reflection


This is a work which I was commissioned to create for the World Views room at the Natural History Museum in Bergen. This is a room of exhibits dedicated to exploring questions of classification in the field of natural history. The drawer, labelled “The Wrong Bodies”, contains dozens of sticky traps, the small cardboard and glue traps that the museum uses to collect, classify and monitor not its specimens, but it’s pests; it’s “wrong bodies”. This act of classification creates a kind of “shadow collection” comprised of the museum’s illegitimate bodily presences: the mirror of its public collection of specimens.

 

The pests caught in the dozens of traps, disclose the presence of institutionally repressed bodies within the museum’s ordered sanctum, about which the institution ordinarily remains silent in its public discourse.

 

With each trap carefully labelled to show when and where it was left in the museum, the bodies they collect create a perverse echo of the neatly pinned and labelled specimens in the museum’s official collection. From the tangles of otherwise anonymous body-parts caught in these traps, the museum thus fashions the material for a curious “shadow” collection.

 

As the sticky traps illustrate, the museum’s need to diagnose its own infestations is what compels it to acknowledge their presence and it seems fitting therefore to put its shadow collection on show using the sticky traps.

 

Displayed in a small drawer, the exhibit insinuates itself into the museum, putting the museum’s “wrong” bodies on show.  In so doing, completing a transformational process from body to specimen, begun by the museum itself. At the same time, I hope the result remains anomalous to the museum visitor; that the otherness of the drawer’s exhibits is maintained, in contrast to all those that surround them.

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