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The final sleep: An installation = Le…

The final sleep: An installation = Le dernier sommeil

by Spring Hurlbut

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0888544367, Hardcover)

In an extraordinary gesture, The Royal Ontario Museum invited Toronto artist Spring Hurlbut to create an exhibition for its Institute of Contemporary Culture. Known for her reconfigurations of antique rituals surrounding sacrifice and death, Hurlbut decided to create an exhibition from the Museum's own immense trove of research artifacts and spent nearly two years scouring its departments of Egyptology, paleobiology, mammology and ichthyology. The result is a tour-de-force of editing and formal design with over 400 objects ranging from Egyptian cat mummies to the very tools of death and mummification. Radiant in their Victorian vitrines, Hurlbut's treasures emanate an other-worldliness and, rather than instilling fear, invite contemplation. We reflect on the connections between life and death, art and science and beauty and knowledge.

In her essay, Exhibiting the New Historiography, Ulana Baluk gives a critical analysis of the development of museums and museology from the mid-19th century on. Challenging the accepted interpretation of the pre-modern museum a as a "vulgar sideshow" that needed to be reigned in so as to better instruct, she rejects the theories that have dominated museology for most of the twentieth century. She calls for museums to incorporate multiple perspectives and cultural critiques into the reading of artifacts and to re-introduce the very earliest museological discourse into contemporary practice. Spring Hurlbut, she writes "is one of the small number of artists and historians who question the assumptions about collecting. The Final Sleep reaffirms the power of earlier collecting traditions. It is a silent yet eloquent testimonial to the object's timeless capacity to inspire awe and wonder."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:34 -0400)

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