La Col·leccionista (The Collector). 2005

Arco Contemporary Art Fair / Moriarty Gallery/ Madrid/ 2005

16 wooden display cases, 4 tables, 16 Murano glass lampshades, various objects.

Tables: 100x100x70 cm; Boxes: 45x30x5 cm

 

 

Diverse boxes of butterflies placed on study tables are lit with Murano glass lampshades. Engraved with acid on the boxes’ glass is the negative print outline of the absent butterflies. Through these holes and under the coloured light of the lamps the contents of the boxes appear. Inside the display cases one can see the objects, materials and various other instruments classified by typologies: vein, thread, cord, string, tape-measures, set squares, magnifying glasses. A homogeneous mosaic of iridescent texture is the result of the accumulation and arrangement of the contents. Obsolete objects that stand out for their fragility and that in their eagerness for survival fuse with the collection of butterflies. Objects that arise from detailed scientific or domestic practices, such as measuring, calculating, drawing, spinning, weaving, cooking, preserving and investigating.

These boxes that appear precious become testimonies of certain types of subliminal, silenced and undervalued practices of a bygone female world of housework. Likewise, where one finds represented the romantic attitude of those female naturalists from the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries; scientific pioneers, botanists, and travellers like Elizabeth Blackwell, Marianne North, Marian Sybille Merian, Anna Blackburne etc.