The season was devised by de Oliveira and Oxley, together with Jonathan Houlding who became its curator. Based on the experience of showing large works of Installation art, we decided to maintain the artform’s immersive, worldmaking qualities, while combining them with the hermetic attributes of the miniature. To this end, three large glass cabinets were constructed, and each artist was invited to present new works especially made to be contained entirely within the cases. The gallery space was otherwise to remain empty.
Moreover, the series sought to highlight the historical importance of the ‘Cabinets of Curiosity’ from the Renaissance to the Victorian Period, followed by Walter Benjamin’s illuminated 20th century ‘Arcades’, and by the resurgence of the showcase in contemporary commercial and curatorial display. Contemporary art, it is argued, is strongly framed by the mechanism and methodology of display.