Because of its focus on natural history and anthropology, the Jenks Museum once boasted a tremendous selection of taxidermy creatures (including a vicuna, a female oppossum with ten young, and a full-plumaged peacock) and an equally impressive ethnographic collection (complete with a Kafir hand harpoon and an assortment of spindle whorls). Inspired by the story of the Jenks Museum, its curator, and its wildly interesting collections, students approached artist Mark Dion to collaborate on their creative reinterpretation of the lost museum at Brown University. Through this partnership, the Jenks Society for Lost Museums contributes an artistic perspective to the intriguing mix of history and science inherent to the exhibition, set to open May 1, 2014 in Rhode Island Hall.
In order to celebrate this juxtaposition of art and science, Liz Crawford came up with a weekly feature titled Artists We Admire. According to Crawford, “The column was created as a venue for the Jenks Society to explicitly name its connections to the contemporary art world and reflect upon those connections. The [featured] artists will vary in medium, subject, and tone, but will all have some connection to institutional critique, natural history, and untold stories.”
To honor our official re-launch of this column, I’m pleased to present our inaugural artist, Cai Guo-Qiang, originally posted by Liz Crawford in December 2013. Check back for more Artists We Admire every Sunday evening.