Archive for September, 2011

The Pitt Rivers Collection (more nostalgia)

Posted in log on September 14, 2011 by isidor

A museum inside a museum, just like a chinese box, is ought to reveal full of surprises; I was not let down. Assembled as if a megalomaniac had decided to turn a whole hall into a wunderkammer, artifacts are crammed like in a kid’s prized toy chest, and you would have to keep your eyes peeled if you wanted to spot every detail, but then you’d also need a lifetime to do so. However, besides the novelty factor, what is there is not just an opulent show of eccentricity: it is one of the most complete overviews on decorative arts, a bit like taking a tour of the world in a day; it makes your head spin. The same could be said about the British Museum, except the art there is more dissected and in a contemporary museal setting; perhaps, the more spacious exposition lends itself less to the sense of mysticism, which instead can be found floating through the air in the Pitt Rivers museum, strengthened by the countless painted eyes looking at you through the low light, as if in a mist.
If we consider that most material was acquired (forcefully and murderously I suspect, but for sure I know not) from now mostly defunct/colonized populations or tribes, we might call it a temple to what the English know better: snatching stuff from others and drinking tea (oh, wait..).

(I also apologise in advance for the captions, it was stronger than me.. Just go see it! Oh, and the website also has a virtual tour)

While you  look at the pictures you could perhaps listen to this, not because it’s vaguely related but because I like to throw the Bonzo Dogs in here and there.

Don't look at me like that - seriously - I have NO idea where your hands might be.

Oh, such a pretty snout, what is it for? *pweet* Ouch, not in the eye!

And when in medieval India they catch you stealing cookies, first they take.. Heck, I don't think I even want to know.

"Oh love, grant me a keepsake before you leave for this dangerous journey!" "What would you like?" "Can I ask for anything?" "ANYTHING!"

This man seems merrily oblivious to all the pain and suffering that surrounds him. Is that a pencil he's balancing between his lips and nose?

How did they fit the smaller sphere inside the other one,and the even smaller one into the smaller one, and then the even even smaller one.. Blast it, I think I could be here all day trying to figure this out.

"Dear God, please no more silly captions." "We'll see about that."

"Can I take a picture?" "I said NOH!"

And this is the sort of face you make when you figure you're out fighting british warships with stone age spears.

Taking "You've got eyes like diamonds" literally.

Sometimes even combing your hair can be scary.

"But you already had a purse that looked exactly lke this!" "This one has got different coloured shells."

"Is that a 6 foot, late 17th century lacquered rifle you're holding in your pants, or are you just happy too see me?"

"Nice hat! Where did you get it?"