Featured Artist: Danielle Schlunegger
The Collection is a fictional archive of natural history specimens and artifacts from the created life of the Naturalist, Marcus Kelli. The Collection displays specimens and Kelli’s personal effects in an interactive museum approach, providing a tension between fact and fiction. I step into this imagined world as curator and head restoration artist of the Marcus Kelli Archive and Museum. Receptions become performances as I provide expert information on the collection to viewers. I transform used books to create “extinct” animal specimens for the Collection. The creatures’ text shows through fur, leaves, seedpods, and the other natural ephemera from which they are created, so that each specimen is appropriately derived from nature and has it’s own unique story to tell. Their stories intertwine with Marcus Kelli, who collected them as he ventured across imaginary landscapes, teaching himself to understand the world he lived in. The Collection is inspired by 18th century cabinets of curiosity and the early explorers who saw things that no one in their cultural circle could have imagined. I aim to inspire curiosity and tug at the desire to study and discover the unknown.