Inheriting the Anthropocene

 

Manchester Museum

July-September, 2019 

Collaborators: David Rousell, Riikka Hohti, Hannah-Lee Chalk, Maggie MacLure, and the Young Adventurers (aged 11-14) 

The "Inheriting the Anthropocene" exhibition was co-created with the Young Adventurers, a group of young people (age 11-14) who collaborate weekly with artists, researchers, and educators from the Biosocial Lab and Manchester Museum.  Our collective adventure took us into the museum’s gallery spaces and behind the scenes, down corridors and into hidden stores, following our curiosity while asking hard questions about the Anthropocene, climate change, extinction, and decolonisation. What does it feel like to inherit the Anthropocene? How does our sense of inheritance shift as we work to collectively re-imagine the museum and its collections? 

We organised the exhibition around a Cabinet of Curiosity which offered tentative responses to these questions. Working in the Baroque style of seventeenth century Wunderkammern that displayed artificial and natural objects side by side, young people assembled and disassembled museum objects of various kinds and investigated their relations to their own lives and epoch. We also created a number of other interactive works and interventions in museum space, including:

Coats of Curiosities, found coats, found objects, provocations 

The Bureau of Unanswerable Questions, found drawers, hundreds of questions raised by young people in the museum

The Blot Walk,  40 inkblots marking blind spots and exclusions in the museum’s galleries

Scene From Behind, a 360 video installation revealing parts of the museum usually restricted to the public

Sounding Inheritance, interactive audio interface, binaural audio samples recorded by young people the museum

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