A selection of objects from the Dordrecht Museum’s archeological collection organized and displayed on two metal structures temporarily fixed with a detachable tube-clamping system, installed together in the wall so that they create a bigger unit visually, in the style of an altarpiece or retable.
The selection consists of a diverse range of objects from the Museum’s depot, belonging to different historic periods and representing a conjunction of the artistic expression, religious beliefs and technical knowledge of their times. All the selected items are, at the same time ornamented works, aesthetic explorations crafted with advanced techniques and complex tools of their moment, created not only with a specific function in mind but also to depict and represent shared overarching narratives of their time.
This selection responds to the aim of exploring the links between Art, Religion and Technology, showing them as interconnected spheres of human activity and examining how these relations were understood in different historic times. We can reflect on this by looking at the ornaments in these objects, used to embellish but also to depict religious and political stories: functional objects that recall important shared narratives, virtuous crafting examples that constitute symbols of faith.
Looking into these devices from the past gives us a sense that the contemporary division between technical knowledge and other kinds of knowledge may not have always seemed as clear as we think now. A more mixed perspective between our technological achievements, belief systems and artistic practices could bring a more balanced and equilibrated perspective on who we are now as a society and guide us in the design of alternatives.