Skeletons in the Closet 2009–2012

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Pichler, Klaus


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It all star­ted when I hap­pen­ed to catch a glim­p­se through a base­ment win­dow of the muse­um of natu­ral histo­ry one night: an office with a desk, a com­pu­ter, shel­ves and a stuf­fed ante­l­o­pe. This expe­ri­ence left me won­de­ring: what does a muse­um look like behind the sce­nes? How are exhi­bits stored when they are not on dis­play?

I was intrigued by the­se ques­ti­ons when I star­ted to work on this pro­ject after being gran­ted per­mis­si­on to take pho­to­graphs on muse­um pre­mi­ses. Due to the sheer size of the muse­um (it covers an area of 45.000 squa­re metres!), this series soon tur­ned out to be a long term pro­ject.

I star­ted to focus on the less well known depart­ments of the muse­um and their con­tents. The­re­fo­re, the focus of this stu­dy is not on the exhi­bi­ti­on spaces of the muse­um of natu­ral histo­ry, but on the space behind the sce­nes, par­ti­cu­lar­ly depots, cel­lars, and sto­rage rooms assi­gned to indi­vi­du­al depart­ments which are gene­ral­ly not acces­si­ble to the public.

The­se spaces are used for the sto­rage of count­less exhi­bits belon­ging to various collec­tions, sor­ted fol­lo­wing a rigid­ly sci­en­ti­fic clas­si­fi­ca­ti­on sys­tem, but also taking into account the limi­ted sto­rage space avail­ab­le. As a pho­to­gra­pher with limi­ted know­ledge of sci­en­ti­fic rese­arch methods, the museum’s back rooms pre­sen­ted to me a huge array of still lives. Their crea­ti­on is deter­mi­ned by the need to find space saving sto­rage solu­ti­ons for the pre­ser­va­ti­on of objec­ts but also the fact that work on and with the exhi­bits is an ongo­ing pro­cess.

Full of life, but dead none­theless. Sur­pri­ses inclu­ded!
















Limitiert auf 750 Exemplare, nummeriert und signiert

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