Similitude

Similitude, one of the 175 curated cabinets in Curiosity CLXXV, assembled objects from the Kirby Collection, Chemical Engineering and Forensic Pathology Departments. Here the most basic of taxonomic systems was applied, corresponding to early Linnaean classification and based on physical resemblance or shared characteristics. In so doing, objects that would otherwise have been highly charged – a torch used as a murder weapon and the skull of the victim of the famous 'crossbow murder' together with arrow – became neutralised and merely a series of 'long things'. This forced decontextualisation allowed for objects from disparate provenances to be brought together in the formation of new dialogues.

Curiosity CLXXV brought together objects from diverse departments throughout the university. Using the strategies of the wunderkammer, where extraordinary objects collide and sense is made through formal and imagined connections, the exhibition was also one that spoke to the history of collection and display.