Fields // Multi-natural Histories present by GSD Non-Human // 2013 // Harvard Museum of Natural History // Cambridge, MA
Writing by Marcus Owens & Olivier Surel, curators of Multi-Natural Histories, for its publication :
In Fields, Boston-based artist Maria Molteni has commissioned local glass blower Aron Leaman to create custom glass objects that act as “speakers” projecting the insects’ stridulation as she disassembles a second-hand fur coat. Dressed in a metallic sequin blouse, Molteni processes and organizes the fragments by color into large glass jars. Maria’s performance takes place in the Great Mammal hall, a space whose thematic categorization is unique within the Museum. While other rooms adhere to a geographic or taxonomic schema, bodies within the Great Mammal Hall are those that have registered a minimal affect within the beholding subject. In Fielding, Maria seems almost to have outsourced the performance to the crickets. Methodically reducing the faux-flesh of the coat into small pieces classified by color, Molteni seems to be working through her response to the phantom of vitality lingering taxidermied animals. In a satire of the attempt to make sense of the remains of a mammal’s body, Molteni patiently reconstitutes its variations in some kind of folk-spectronomy.