Object(hood)

Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, 2017

In the last two decades there has been a breakdown of the traditional distinction between a subject and an object, with an increasing focus on the ‘thing’ as a mediator in both human and non-human relationships. In this ambitious exhibition by Kate V Robertson, this contemporary way of thinking is manifested by a large sculptural cabinet that emanates moving-images and spoken word derived from eight unique things from the University of Edinburgh’s collections. Also including creative written responses, Object(hood) echoes encounters between these things and writers, academics and the artist, allowing fascinating historical artefacts to physically connect with the ripples of meaning they have engendered.

Featuring one object each week, the exhibition will reinvent itself around the history and innate properties of the selected things. They include: a brain coral, a Gandharan sculpture fragment, a large mannequin head cast by Eduardo Paolozzi, an anatomical eye model, a Bersag Horn, a large conch trumpet, the figure of Mercury and a death mask of Isaac Newton.