Monday, 15 January 2018

dugong show

Despite rejection by the scientific and curatorial community as hoaxes, the manufactured chimera known as Fiji mermaids are stubborn objects of fascination and still prized acquisitions in serious collections, as Hyperallergic contributor Allison Meier experienced.
Marketed to the public like sea-monkeys, perhaps some of that enduring celebrity and academic interest can be sourced to that dissonance between expectation and reality. Specimens are even subjected to a rigorous battery of testing, including DNA and x-rays. What do you think? Plenty of reliquaries have sideshow status as well but we wonder if such spectacles and mascots aren’t contributing to the idea of museums as backdrops over places of scholarship and learning. Perhaps the sense of balance is most important.