The Collector
Katarina Matiasek + Scanner
Sonic Boom: The Art of Sound
Hayward Gallery London UK
April – June 2000

Catalogue with CD


Participating artists: Angela Bulloch, Paul Burwell, Heri Dono, Max Eastley, Brian Eno, Paulo Feliciano & Rafael Toral, Greyworld, Stephan Von Huene, Ryoji Ikeda, Philip Jeck, Thomas Koner, Christian Kubisch, Chico Macmurtie, Christian Marclay, Russell Mills & Ian Walton, Mariko Mori, John Oswald, Pan Sonic, Project Dark, Lee Renaldo, Paul Schutze

"I am one in a row of specimens. It's when I try to flutter out of line he hates me. I'm meant to be dead, pinned, always the same, always beautiful. He knows that part of my beauty is being alive, but it's the dead me he wants. He wants me living-but-dead."

[John Fowles, The Collector 1963]

The Collector, which was inspired by John Fowles famous novel , is an audio/video environment created within an oblong and rounded room that is reminiscent of an orangery. Formally scaled between the secluded hideaway of a private collection and the more heroic public display, the space at first suggests a leisurely mental pursuit. It is through its very orchestration that the dilemma of the collector’s practice gets unveiled.

Displayed upon the two opposing curved ends of the space are two synchronous 16mm to video projections of numerous butterflies in swift succession. Due to the fact that these pictures are offered in most rapid animation from single stills, the simultaneously projected butterfly motifs start to flap their wings. But as the musical narrative of The Collector unfolds, the specimens of the collection do not remain the seemingly innocent continuum of Nature: the composition interweaves scientific recordings of subtly rustling butterfly wings with the blunt noise of the collector’s hammer, nailing down his objects of desire. The sound enforces a sense of containment balanced against the freedom expressed within the image of a butterflies wings.