“This separation of things from their original context and functions made them into commodities, increasingly susceptible to the projection of cultural desires and anxieties.” (Olalquiaga)

Cabinets of curiosities (also known as Cabinets of Wonder) were encyclopaedic collections of objects whose categorical boundaries were, in Renais- sance Europe, yet to be defined. Modern terminology would categorise the objects included as belonging to natural history (sometimes faked), geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art and antiquities. They were regarded as a microcosm or theatre of the world, and a memory theatre and a pre-cursor to museums.

The creation of her own curiosity boxes are an anathema to Waldman’s own OCD and a way of controlling chaos, inner and outer, through the calm of ritual. Collecting and categorising renders the objects familiar and non-threatening— there is nothing out of place or in essence, everything is in its cor- rect place. Making sense of a world gone crazy, obsessively organising things over and over in a non-polluted, non-distilled fashion is the artist’s healing process.

To this end, she has collected both the foreign and the exotic in box frames, using the theory of “objecthood” as the underlying pinnacle. Domestic and banal objects mix with powerful and cultural objects. Pinned in like scientific specimens, styled in hoards, the artwork explores the idea of collections with the objects as decoration and perfection. Again, the theory of kitsch is referenced as society’s way of using and making decoration palatable.

The work questions the authenticity of what the world presents— is it true and genuine? Or is it artifice? Perhaps it’s too saturated and too perfect to be real.

Viewers witness these collections in glass boxes so lending a highly voyeuristic optical sensibility. The translucence and brittleness of glass creates a strong ethereal aura, transcending the mundane into something almost mythical and mystical.

43 Gina Waldman Curiosity Cabinet I 68.5x140cm paper collage, pearl pins 2017

Title: Curiosity Cabinet I

Size: 68.5cm x 140cm
27” x 55”
Medium: paper collage, pearl pins

Date: 2017

44 Gina Waldman Curiosity Cabinet II 53.5x85.5cm paper collage,pearl pins, 2017

Title: Curiosity Cabinet II

Size: 53,5cm x 85,5cm
21” x 34”
Medium: paper collage, pearl pins

Date: 2017

45 Gina Waldman Curiosity Specimens, 64x64cm glitter, paper collage, pearl pins, 2017

Title: Curiosity Specimens

Size: 64cm x 64cm
25” x 25”
Medium: glitter, paper collage, pearl pins

Date: 2017

46 Gina Waldman Power Objecthood 64x34cm, pepaercollage, pearl pins, 2017

Title: Objecthood
Size: 64cm x 34cm
25” x 13”
Medium: paper collage, pearl pins

Date: 2017