James Putnam
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Richard Wentworth - 'Questions of Taste', 1997

Installation at the British Museum curated by James Putnam as part of a multi-site exhibition 'Collected', conceived and curated by Neil Cummings for The Photographers Gallery, London.

Wentworth created what he called a 'display' using ancient Egyptian drinking vessels from the British Museum's collection juxtaposed with various modern drinks containers he found discarded around the museum. These were arranged in a vitrine placed in the Egyptian Gallery adjacent to an ancient sarcophagus. To match the official museum labels, the modern tins, cartons and plastic bottles were similarly described, including details of their manufacturing process and the find-spot in each case. This juxtaposition set up dialogues between valuable and worthless, precious artifact and discarded rubbish, the unique handmade object and mass-produced packaging.

1st picture from top:
Vitrine containing found modern drinks containers and ancient Egyptian drinking vessels. Installed with museological labels and sarcophagus in British Museum's Egyptian Sculpture Gallery

3rd picture from top:
Found modern Panda cherryade bottle with ancient Egyptian Bes Flask

4th picture from top:
Found plastic Coke bottle, adapted by Museum cleaner for use as a sprinkler with ancient Egyptian terracotta flask.

For an interview with Richard Wentworth go to 'Conversations'

Richard Wentworth, Questions of Taste , 1997.
Richard Wentworth, Questions of Taste , 1997, detail of above.
Richard Wentworth, Questions of Taste, 1997.
Richard Wentworth, Questions of Taste , 1997.

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