Luke Roberts’s Wunderkammer/Kunstkamera (detail) 1994 is an all-encompassing work, it includes found objects, homemade dolls, mementos, remade and modified objects, as well as featuring selected historical works from the Gallery’s Collection. Each object is labelled by the artist, with some labels factual and others taking more creative leaps, and they are presented in a museum display, the installation creating a museum within a museum. The work plays on the way that labelling can present agendas rather than facts and the way that museum displays can ‘mummify’ objects. It calls for the return of wonder into the museum context, which was such a feature of the cabinet of curiosities but has slowly disappeared with the progressive standardisation of museums and galleries.
Luke Roberts recently spoke with Peter McKay (Curator, Contemporary Australian Art) about Wunderkammer/Kunstkamera (detail) 1994, currently on display in Sculpture is Everything. The exhibition catalogue is available for purchase from the QAGOMA Store and online.
Ellie Buttrose is Assistant Curator, Contemporary International Art and Peter McKay is Curator, Contemporary Australian Art at QAGOMA.