The urge for humans to classify is instinctual - a need to arrange the world around us into patterns, to form order from chaos, compels us from childhood to death. This desire became formalised in the sciences, and especially in taxonomy - the placing of creatures and plants into groups. The scientific collection so painstakingly created is traditionally seen as hermetic and privileged - akin to the archive: a repository of preserved knowledge and authority, often institutionalised in museums. But in actuality all collections are unstable, and time dissipates that which has been so carefully hoarded. These creatures have died twice, first poisoned in killing jars, then turned by time into ruins. What remains are cul-de-sacs: their stored knowledge dissipated, their context lost.
Fu-An Chen • Rich Cutler • James Finlay • Mu-Tien Ho • Elin Karlsson • Kayung Lai • Sharon O'Neill • Andrew Pengilly • Alastair Rodgers • Yuxi Si • Charles Morgan Smith • Joy Stacey • Tim Stephens •