Kunstkammer Field Report: Rutland
by Ric Kasini Kadour
Operating from Year 2199, The Kunstkammer bends time and history by blending historical fact and imagined fictions to tell a story from the future about the present. The stories and perspective 180 years in the future will be different than what we know today. Knowledge will be gained but it will also be lost. The Kunstkammer invites the viewer to employ what writer Alexis Clements describes as art’s great technology, “to inquire about the world without being limited to facts or logic or notions of objective truth.” It also takes a nod from John Green’s Looking for Alaska, in which he observes, “Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia.” We use our memories to imagine the potential of what may happen, but also what we can accomplish or achieve, to entertain what is possible. I invite you to enter this theater of memory and consider the future of your self and community. Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks about the danger of the single story, how simple narratives of others result in a poor understanding of our complex, shared humanity. This applies as much to the coworker sitting next to us as it does to the people living on a continent across the ocean. And it applies to ourselves when we decide that our story is simple and limited. Every person can write their own story, but to do that, they must imagine all the stories that are possible.
The Kunstkammer Field Report: Rutland assembles a collection of stories about the images and objects in the installation of the Kunstkammer during February and March 2019 in Rutland, Vermont.