UCL Anthropology


"Making Nature: How we see animals" - Wellcome Trust Exhibition with Marcus Coates and Volker Sommer

27 February 2017

Exhibition Poster

Kicking off a year-long exploration into our relationship with nature, this major exhibition examines what we think, feel and value about other species and the consequences this has for the world around us. It brings together over 100 fascinating objects from literature, film, taxidermy and photography. Organised around four themes - 'Ordering', 'Displaying', 'Observing' and 'Making' - the event charts the changing fashions of museum displays, examines the search for an authentic encounter with nature, and looks at how humans have intentionally altered other organisms.

The foyer that leads to the exhibition halls is framed by a recreation of the piece "Degreecoordinates - Shared traits of the Hominini". The installation was first shown in 2015 in Berlin at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt during the exhibition "Ape Culture" - as a joint venture of Marcus Coates and Volker Sommer.

Marcus Coates is widely recognised for his performances and installations that employ shamanistic rituals and contrast natural and manmade processes. Volker Sommer is Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at UCL; his philosophy and academic line of study has increasingly brought him into contact with contemporary artists, who at times accompany him to his field sites in the rainforests of Africa and Asia. Continuing their collaboration, Marcus Coates and Volker Sommer will lead a joint workshop at the Institut Kunst, Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, in Basle, Switzerland, 27-28 Apr 2017.

EXHIBITION Making Nature: how we see animals (01 December 2016 - 21 May 2017) https://wellcomecollection.org/MakingNature