Camera of Wonders

“At the turn of the sixteenth century, a Danish doctor named Ole Worm took the Earth and squeezed it into a single room of his home. The space brimmed with things of scientific interest, whimsically arranged. Natural specimens dangled from rafters and perched on shelves. Bones and minerals mingled with clockwork automata and botanical samples. The Museum Wormianum was just one of many such collections compiled in Europe during a time brightly characterized as the Age of Discovery, when the promise of increased understanding encouraged travelers to map the globe and catalog its marvels.

Camera of Wonders takes the Wunderkammer, as such proto-museums came to be called, as its point of departure. It is inspired as well by the exhibition The Family of Man, organized in 1955 by Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art, New York—a photography show that had the express aim of showing universal threads that recur throughout time and across national borders.

Camera of Wonders is an associative arrangement of more than one hundred photographs from CIAC (Colección Isabel y Agustín Coppel) and the Kadist Art Foundation. The images are ordered to suggest formal connections, uniting artists across traditional divisions. Visitors are left to their own devices, as if exploring Worm’s cabinet without him. As they advance through the rows of pictures, they are free to slip between black and white and full color, between abstraction and representation. The work of emerging artists appears next to long-established icons. Photographs from decades ago are arrayed next to ones made today, and the subject matter ranges widely. Absent an imposed, linear, historical narrative, possibilities for connection proliferate.”

  • Curated by Jens Hoffmann
    Centro de la Imagen. (Ciudad de México) 27/10/15- 14/2/16
    Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín (Medellín, Colombia) 20/4/16-26/6/16
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