The Cabinet of Curiosities

A Look into Jan Švankmajer's Cabinet… ©englishmaninslovakia.com

A Look into Jan Švankmajer’s Cabinet… ©englishmaninslovakia.com

This is a great exhibition – I was there the other week – and every bit as bizarre as its title might suggest. Jan Švankmajer’s Cabinet of Curiosities is one of Danubiana’s two latest exhibitions – they can easily host two, these days, after the spectacular revamp – and hands down the most absorbing (if in a marginally macabre kind of way).

The visitor enters a long room of forty or so glass cases, filled with the skeletons of creatures, just as you might if you were walking into certain laboratories or antiquated museums. Only these are creatures as you have never seen them before. Constructed from the leftover bits and pieces that, were they strewn on the ground in front of you, you would never give a second glance to, the creatures in this exhibition are comprised of shells, strands of string, driftwood, rocks, rubbish. They are still skeletons – very much so. The strange thing is that a glance from a distance even implies they have the essence of actual animals-as-we-know-them. The closer you get, the crazier they seem. And they are fascinating. Drawings on the wall point of the development of Švankmajer’s ingenious ideas for some of these bizarre beasts.

A fun and refreshing change from the usual modern art exhibitions – but possibly not one for vegetarians (parts of chickens are used on a few occasions).

The exhibition runs until JUNE 28TH. The normal Danubiana entrance fee (8 Euros for adults, 4 Euros for kids) and opening hours (11am-7pm May-September; 10am-6pm October-April) apply.

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