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Alberto Baraya – Naturalism/Artificiality

Expeditions, and Research of the Herbarium of Artificial Plants
18.09/2013 – 05.01/2014
Frost Art Museum, Miami

Inspired by the European expeditions of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries that intended to scientifically collect and quantify the indigenous flora, fauna and the peoples of the Americas, Alberto Baraya examines the way nature has been historically represented. Following the works of explorers and naturalists Alexander von Humboldt and John James Audubon, among others, he ventures into the world to document nature from his own artistic perspective.

The exhibition Naturalism/Artificiality: Expeditions and Research of the Herbarium of Artificial Plants includes works from three ongoing series, the Herbarium of Artificial Plants, the Fable of the Birds, and Anthropometries, which document and display the observations of artificial plants, bird collections, and individuals, he has made on his travels.

In the first series, the artist builds an ongoing collection of artificial plants made out of plastic or fabric used for decorative purposes. He photographs them and produces taxonomies detailing the fake plant’s parts and characteristics. In the Fable of the Birds, Baraya documents ornithological collections, photographing dissected birds and recovering the peculiar forms of transcriptions of their sounds. The exhibition also includes a series of photographs of his most recent work, Anthropometries, which focuses on measuring individuals with an early tool of used by scientists for the identification and understanding of human physical variations.

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This post is also available in: Spanish