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Artifacts and Anomalies: Cabinets of Wonder and the Play of Technology

Exhibition by Elona Van Gent (the USA)

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  Elona Van Gent was born 1961, in Winnegabo, Nebraska. Professor Van Gent has been a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Art and Design at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, since 1993.

Ten person exhibitions of professor Van Gent were hold in exhibition halls in the USA in 1990 - 2002. The exhibitions were paid attention by audience, first of all the university and artistic.

Artist Elona Van Gent draws inspiration for her artwork in part from natural history and the cabinets of curiosities of early modern Europe. What interests her most about them is their combination of the natural and unnatural, the chaotic organization of their parts in a world where reality and symbolism, science and art were inextricably intertwined. Object of all kinds can be revisited in this "theatre of the world" - inspired by Pliny's races, Aldrovandi's dragons, Seba's seven headed-hydras and other sea monsters, plus medical and musical instruments, toys, and other technologies, images, proverbs, and stories that extended from the Classical to the Contemporary. The art that she creates with the help pf computer processing and while inspired by those magical, bizarre, odd, contradictory, startling creatures constitutes her own Cabinet of Wonders.

The exhibition was hold in the room where the items of anatomy and teratology of the Petersburg Kunstkamera of the XVII-XIX centuries have been exposed. In the opinion of professor Van Gent, the chambers of the Petersburg Kunstkamera embodying the spirit of natural history are the organic environment for exposition of her specific work of art.