Lisa Nilsson
AnatomicaAnatomica (detail)The StrandThe Strand (detail)WithdrawnWithdrawn (detail)Cherished and ExercisedCherished and Exercised (detail)HayleyHayley (detail)Size 7Size 7 (detail)Lobes and CavitiesLobes and Cavities (detail)ChumChum (detail)Specimens of GraySpecimens of Gray (detail)Hillside CemeteryHillside Cemetery in Snow (detail)The White CabinetThe White Cabinet (detail)The Ants are my FriendsThe Ants are My Friends
Boxes
12 x 12 inch box-like assemblages incorporating found and made objects

Relics & Specimens

What is the difference between a specimen and a relic?

In these assemblages, I take delight in an openness and inclusiveness that blurs the distinctions. Any given thing may be one or both simultaneously, so that a relic’s formal qualities become primary, and a specimen is given the gold leaf-and-velvet treatment of its lofty cousin, the relic. There is an open-ended taxonomy where objects and “art objects” – found, made by others, and made by me – coexist. Ultimately, the distinctions are in the connections made by the beholder.

I believe in an economy of attention: Things are as important as the amount of attention paid them. Everything is or was important to someone at some time. The holy bones are loosed to be themselves, and objects found on the sidewalk are venerated in their reliquaries.


BACK TO ARTWORK