Wunderkammer Naturalia / Artificialia is the name and concept for an exhibition series in Bad Cannstatt. Housed in the four shop windows of the former “Betten Fischer” (bedding house), the Wunderkammer in Badstraße exists separately from pre-established cultural hubs, aiming to bring contemporary art into the public space.
The name Wunderkammer Naturalia / Artificialia refers to the Cabinets of Curiosities or Wonder Collections which emerged in 14th century Europe. These collections gathered wonders from around the world, uniting objects belonging to the fields of both art and craft, including found items and manmade artefacts. These rarities were exhibited to amaze the spectator, whilst simultaneously demonstrating individual power and wealth.
As a precursor of contemporary museum presentation, the roots of modern exhibiting can be found in these collections. Wunderkammer Naturalia / Artificialia is an attempt to critically question the ethnographical histories surrounding practices of collection which pertain to a complex colonial legacy of theft and oppression.
Simultaneously, Wunderkammer Naturalia / Artificialia is interested in challenging the current standards and hierarchies of curation, which determine what is considered ‘worthy of exhibition’. From the indiscriminate assemblage of the cabinet of curiosities, to the divisions between art, craft and natural history at play in contemporary museums.
Two of the windows show the works of young contemporary artists* in staggered rhythms. Focusing on practices which explore tensions between naturalia and artificialia, they deal with this tension both as individual works and as part of a dialogue with the other represented artists.
The third window is explicitly dedicated to the Naturalia and grows piece by piece with found natural objects, selected by the artists. Finally, the fourth window is a Wunderkammer itself: arranged by the owner of the former bedding house, it operates independently and obeys its own logic.