What Can Be Seen, Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat

We wandered into the new exhibition in the Millennium Galleries this morning in our few childfree hours and since it was the most interesting thing I’ve seen in a while I thought I’d do a quick write up.

The exhibition presents museum artefacts as art. In some cases similar items have been grouped together, like animation strips from Zoetropes, or the huge case full of pocket watches. My favourite of these is display of microscopes slides showing aquatic plants and creatures. Not only are they beautiful but no-one really knows how they were made which makes them even more exciting.

16700219_10154343022227919_7063473173904134446_oThere is a massive case full of randomness containing seemingly everything from cannonballs to knitted boobs.

Empty frames are presented as works of art work, along with the plaster cast for the sculpture the Walking Man. Art as the opposite of the art itself.

The best section  for me by far, however, is the gallery of photographs showing the storage of museum artefacts. It reminded me of some voluntary work I did twenty years ago where I helped catalogue donations and once put together collection displays including stones that were shaped like feet – but I  digress.16665154_10154343022232919_8213201125535083719_o

The photos are oddly in some cases a little sad, often just funny or plain real. These photos really worked for me and reminded me of a career path I nearly tried to follow. Best not to dwell on what ifs.

It’s a free exhibition I’d highly recommend if you have a spare half an hour and want to see something really different. I’ll be taking the girls along in half term to see what they make of it.


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