Something I’m really interested in is the future of natural history museums, specifically, the taxidermy animal dioramas I grew up being mystified by and that are rumored to disappear as museums move into the age of digital, interactive displays.  So when I came across Alois Kronschlarger’s Habitat, a 27-part architectural intervention within the deserted habitat dioramas in the former Grand Rapids Public Museum, I was pretty engrossed.  In conjunction with SiTE:LAB, which creates temporary site-specific art projects aimed at facilitating dynamic collaborations between the art, education, business and cultural communities of Grand Rapids, MI, the artist created an installation in the Mammal Hall of the Museum.  The piece juxtaposes “the existing landscapes of habitat dioramas built in the mid-20th century with contemporary architectural intervention,” exploring “what happens in an environment when overlaying a geometric abstraction onto representational yet ‘virtual’ spaces.”

I think this is a fantastic project.  How I’d love the opportunity to explore the Mammal Hall of an “abandoned” natural history museum, let alone make some artwork in it!

Photographs by Marc Lins

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Source: Process by Alois Kronschlaeger