My tutor suggested I blog this as it came up during discussions about the difference between an essay and a narrative. One of the exhibitions currently on display at Tullie House in Carlisle is simply a “curators choice” from their stores. It is, as far as I can tell a random collection of objects which is presumably the individual curators reaction to the materials available for display. There is no clear story but the narrative, assuming there is one, seems to me to be about the breadth and depth of the collection itself. The objects range from squirrel pelts to Lowry paintings and Roman altars to airplane propellers. Some, such as the haaf net on the right, and the Roman altars have clear Cumbrian connections, but others are simply a mystery. I’d love an opportunity to find out why these objects were chosen above any others.
On a related note I visited the Baltic Mill this weekend to see Fiona Tan’s Depot and Disorient. The latter in particular took what felt a familiar route to me. It showed two video loops, on of some of the locations described by Marco Polo in his oriental travels as they currently are, and one showing a storage depot filled with exotic goods, spices and animals associated with the trade routes between the east and Italy at the time of Marco Polo. It is complemented by a voice-over reading excerpts from Polo’s book The Travels. Tan seems to have an interest in collections which I may need to follow up.