Cabinet of curiosities is a video installation that I made in 2011 for the annual exhibition at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne – Germany. Visitors can browse through personal diaries developed by different people who have interacted with a work of Media Art, narrating their own personal experience.
These personal diaries are the result of a series of workshops where I made an open call for different types of people inviting them to develop their own personal diary where they described and reinterpreted a work of art over a period of four days.
The original diaries, which resulted from those workshops, were hung and exhibited in this cabinet of curiosities along with two screens that showed the video documentation of the workshops.
From these workshops, I published a book that describes each and every one of the personal diaries. When people read this book in the video installation, it interacted with the space illuminating the original diaries and also bringing parallel stories of videos and interviews related to the personal diary, the person who did it, the artwork and the artist.
Every original diary and the parallel histories appeared and disappeared while reading the book, as a light that was illuminated or hid the histories of the experiences that at some time a person had with a work of art.
The inert bodies hanging in the cabinet of curiosities returned to life across the reading of the histories in each diary, which gave a detailed narrative of the reinterpretation and experience that once had a stranger in an intimate relationship with a work of art.
After finishing the period of exhibition of the video installation, the original hanging diaries were returned to be preserved and archived in a series of encyclopedic volumes titled, “Codex Media Art.”