Creating the Wunderkammer in Contemporary Art

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Through Tuesday, August 16, Film Forum presents the Molly Bernstein documentary An Art That Nature Makes: The Work of Rosamond Purcell. More from the website:

Artist Rosamond Purcell creates collages of natural objects (bones, feathers, leaves, fossils) and found objects (distressed books, industrial scrap, cast-off objects of all stripes) and imbues them with life through her photography. Among her many books are three with scientist Stephen Jay Gould, in which her visuals and his words complement one another. Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, one of Purcell’s admirers, extolls her ability to reveal ‘the hidden history of the world’ and to ‘find art in really strange places.’ Bernstein’s portrait reveals an artist whose work defies our basest materialist impulses and celebrates the beauty of decay, the poetry of destruction, and the ineffable effects of time – on everything.

We took a brief survey of several contemporary artists using a similar “cabinet of curiosities” approach to their work.