|The Doll's House of Peronella Oortman c. 1686-1710|
Inspiration for Viktor and Rolf's doll house
The concept of Viktor and Rolf's doll house reminds me of a cabinet of curiosities, or what was once known as the Wunderkammer.
|Wunderkammer of Ferrante Imperato, Naples 1599|
The Cabinet of Curiosities played with the same concept but on a smaller scale, generally confined to a cabinet which revealed the collection as drawers and panels were opened. According to Walter Benjamin, the notion of collecting is a form of memory in that "Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories." (from Das Passagen-Werk, Volume 1 quoted in Putnam 12).
|Museum by Joseph Cornell c1944-48|
Many artists have also been inspired by the idea of Wunderkammer, using assemblage and bricolage to create collections of objects that provoke or inspire through their dialectical juxtaposition. In 1944-48, Joseph Cornell created an assemblage of objects called Museum which was presented in a red velvet lined box which emphasized the delicate contents of the glass specimen bottles contained therein. More recently, artists like Andy Warhol (Raid the Icebox 1970), Jeffrey Vallance (The Travelling Nixon Museum 1991) Damien Hirst (Dead Ends Died Out, Explored, 1993), Fred Wilson (The Museum Mixed Metaphors, 1993), Sophie Calle (The Wedding Dress, 1999), and others have explored the concept of the museum as a medium of artistic expression.
|Raid the Icebox by Andy Warhol, Museum of Art, Rode Island School of Design, 1970|
Evans, Caroline. The House of Viktor & Rolf. Ed. Susannah Frankel, et al. New York: Merrell, 2008.
Putnam, James. Art and Artifact, The Museum as Medium. London: Thames and Hudson, 2009.