Research for the Full Crypto-Taxidermical Index
160 x 100 x 30 cm
Collecting Dust, 2013 Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Curator: Tami Manor-Friedman
For around a decade now Tomer Sapir has been assiduously putting together an inventory of found and fabricated items which form part of his ongoing crypto-taxidermical index. With this project he aims to examine "the relations between art and science, challenging perceptions of cataloguing and scientific research". His analysis, conducted in a critical spirit and a pseudo-scientific guise, draws its inspiration from taxidermic specimens, mythical hybrid creatures, the historical wunderkammer (cabinets of curiosity), and current museum classification and presentation methods.
The selected items on display exist on the enigmatic boundary between substance and object, between objet trouvé and invention. Fossils, shells, seeds capsules, and pupae are interspersed with items created by the artist, who uses these incongruous juxtapositions to undermine the dichotomies of natural versus synthetic and organic versus inanimate. Like an alchemist, he mixes cement dust, salt crystals, fibers, and plastic beads, bringing his compounds from pre-existence to disintegration – from dust to dust.