Tropical Object Turns, 2019
Tropical Object Turns focuses on ethnographic objects from the Global South that were taken out of their original habitats and isolated in Western museums in colonial times. Lee’s research method aims to release 25-30 objects from this isolated and suppressive western narrative.
In her research the tropical objects are collaboratively re-read in workshops with the public. By engaging with these objects through gestures, writing and sculpting new relationships are created. The gesture is a research tool that gives access to the knowledge these objects inherit about their original habitat. In so doing, knowledge is unlocked on possible future habitats that can be caused by climate change. All actions together form a materialized choreography in which the public co-creates a new speculative landscape. Lee’s work articulates that objects are mediators between us and our environment. Only by deeply engaging with them can we learn more about ourselves and our changing environment.
The installation in the gallery shows the research method and materials that have been used for the workshops, including the working tables with the floor plans of the Tropenmuseum depot, archival material from the depot as well as texts, thoughts and questions that have arisen in the workshops. During the show 3 workshops will be organized in the gallery in which the public can engage with the objects through gesture and writing.