Berlin-based photographer Louis De Belle’s series Failed Dioramas depicts not quite the inside of a cabinet of curiosities, but the vast amount of its items not yet neatly arranged and presented for public viewing. Like Klaus Pichler’s Skeletons in the Closet, De Belle’s pictures show the behind-the-scenes of a natural history collection—taxidermy in work areas, under sheets, mixed up in the shuffle. De Belle says, “These rarities—as astonishing as the ones in the display—were lying all around, accidentally combined with ordinary objects. It looked like an unprepared exhibition, yet a visually eloquent one. And as such, it deserved to be revealed.”
From De Belle’s statement: “Failed Dioramas is a photographic series which explores the idle interiors of a private space, where animal rarities and other atypical treasures have been stacked over time. It narrates and exposes an unusual atmosphere, which arises out of odd set-ups and bizzarre clusters of (apparently) misplaced collectors’ items.”
Failed Dioramas is currently exhibited at the Tieranatomisches Theater of Humboldt Universität in Berlin, a former veterinary anatomy theater now used as an exhibition laboratory. The work is on view through May 2.
All images © Louis De Belle