Where the wild things are


An Honours in Curatorship Hiddingh Campus field study
Curated by Nina Liebenberg


Where the Wild Things Are explored the political, social and historical narratives embedded in the natural world through investigation, observation, mapping, archival research and art making.

Spanning over two main sites, Hiddingh Campus and the new Department of Biological Sciences (merging the Botany and Zoology departments) on Upper Campus, the exhibition developed in two parts: The first part consisting of various on-site interventions engaging with contemporary and historical spatial dynamics and the significance of Hiddingh Campus – home to the Egyptian building which functioned as a zoo in the late eighteenth century, replete with lion’s dens and a small lake that supposedly housed a hippo, as well as the very first Zoology and Botany Building (now the Michaelis Building). Students drew on the methodologies of artist/curator Mark Dion, collaborating with specialists from upper campus (entomologists, ornithologists and botanists) and Michaelis Fine Art students, to activate the campus as a natural environment.The second part of the exhibition will entail filling six display cases in the new Biological Sciences department, using the exhibition and on-site interventions as inspiration for different collection thematics.

The interventions occurred on different days, and over a two week period. A calendar (see below) was provided to stipulate event times and artwork appearances.

Participating artists: Christopher Swift, Dillon Marsh, Fritha Langerman, Thuli Gamedze, Pippa Skotnes, Alex Kaczmarek, Rone-Mari Botha, Jessica Holdengarde, Fanie Buys, Lara Reusch, Stephani Muller, Tegan Green, Evan Wigdorowitz, Mariam Moosa, C J Chandler, Adrienne Van Eeden-Wharton

Calendar of events

21 October, Tuesday
History of campus
Kirby animal whistles for calling the wild things back

22 October, Wednesday
History of campus
Silky Oaks dendrochronological installation

23 October, Thursday
2nd year drawing projects (Drawing and Environment, facilitated by Katherine Bull and Katherine

24 October, Friday
MIDISAGE at 1: Walkabout of campus to view 2nd year interventions, ending with Bertram House
Garden refreshments, and Campus Apothecary introduction

27 October, Monday
Fall by Adrienne van Eeden
Woodhorns by Christopher Swift
Historical astronomical positioning

28 October, Tuesday
2nd year drawing projects (Drawing and Environment, facilitated by Katherine Bull and Katherine

29 October, Wednesday
A Bird for the Library by Fritha Langerman
Penguin Book by Pippa Skotnes
Peter Greenaway’s A Walk Though H screening

30 October, Thursday
Hiddingh Campus Bird Identincation Unit Research
Beetle by Dillon Marsh
Wasp by Thuli Gamedze

31 October, Friday
2nd years drawing project (Beast project, facilitated by Cara van der Westhuizen and Natasha Norman)

3 November, Monday
Campus Walkabout with ornithologist

4 November, Tuesday
Campus Walkabout with entomologist