The Pierson Belongs to Itself, Others and Us, 2010
Ancient artifacts, modern publications, the working archive of Jaap M. Hemelrijk, visiting school’s writing boards and other mixed media in Indian ink stained oak display cabinets.
Extract description from original proposal of James Beckett to the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam:
As an artist I have been working with several museum collections, both modern and antique. The collection itself, its maintenance, infrastructure and viewing public are of interest to me. With the Allard Pierson museum I would like to make this interest very evident, to create a kind of cross-section of the museum; – a profile.
I plan to make informal connections between various aspects of the museum, including fragments as well as contemporary objects revealing something about the nature of a ‘living museum’. The display will be shown in formal cabinets, and is intended to have the quality of a detective novel, revealing each set of objects as quasi-related, as if there were a crime of sorts. The connections themselves are often quite superficial. This is an intended shift on the process of representing objects of supposed significance, a reflection on what are obviously subjective histories. It is also in the context of metamorphosis my hope to illustrate an ease of transportability, – of motion across media, – of motion through time, and inevitably a process of change.