04.08.2015, Berlin / Jakarta | “125.660 Spesimen Sejarah Alam” (125,660 Specimens of Natural History) is an art and science exhibition about colonial natural history collections and the environmental transformations they produced in Indonesia. The exhibition follows the course of Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913), best known for co-discovering the theory of evolution by natural selection. From 1854 to 1862, Wallace travelled the Malay Archipelago, documenting the region’s biodiversity and amassing a gigantic collection of specimens for European museums. The exhibition invites artists to retrace, re-appropriate or reassess the expedition, its documents, and its various artifacts; artists will examine the mobility of colonial knowledge and the transformations of the Indonesian landscape from a variety of perspectives and through various media. The project is supported by the Schering Stiftung and a second iteration will move to Germany in automn 2017.
The first exhibition will take place at the gallery of the multi-arts center Komunitas Salihara, Jakarta, Indonesia. It includes works by 14 Indonesian artists and 12 foreign artists, as well as archival material and zoological specimens from the Research Center for Biology/Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI/MZB) at Bogor-Cibinong—including tiger skulls, orangutan and bird-of-paradise skins—and related historical artefacts. As a special highlight “125.660 Spesimen Sejarah Alam” will showcase a selection of items from LIPI’s collection of historical glass plate negatives, which document the environmental and botanical transformations of the Indonesian archipelago at the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century. These glass plate negatives have never before been presented to the public and comprise the only collection of its kind available in Indonesia.
The exhibition will also host a free public program aimed at a general public that brings together Indonesian and international artists, environmentalists, and natural scientists.
A catalog in Bahasa Indonesian, including an essay on Wallace’s Malay expedition by evolutionary biologist Andrew Berry, will be available gratis at the exhibition.
The project is curated by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin. It is realized in partnership with the multi-arts center Komunitas Salihara and the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense/Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI/MZB), in cooperation with Schering Stiftung and with additional support of the Goethe-Institut.
Komunitas Salihara Gallery
Jl. Salihara No. 16
Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
August 15 – September 15, 2015
Press Preview 15 August, 4 pm
Public Preview 15 August, 7 pm
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