The (Un)natural History Museum
The American Museum of Natural History manifests the Plantation Logic by dehumanizing and demarcating the ‘other’ through the Euro-centric lens. Utilizing tools of exhibition and display, the museum constructs an image that emphasizes the ‘other’ while isolating and freezing cultures in time. The (Un) Natural History Museum rethinks natural history to de-territorialize the museum’s portrayal of colonization and conquest to reveal the unnaturalness of natural history. Through rethinking the diorama, a tool of power that arrests moments in time, the immersive image is disrupted to undo this theatrical staging. A new set of architectural tools intercept, reflect and reveal a narrative to animate and re-contextualize the complex histories that were previously hidden. The (Un) Natural History Museum deconstructs and pulls apart the constructed image to reveal how history is not isolated, but interconnected and ever-changing.