Prelude 2022 — The Color of Dinosaur is Sinophilia
How nature is presented in natural history museums can be regarded as a concrete visual representation of the relationship between humans and nature. The display modes of natural history museums are by no means universal nor objective. Exhibition displays are embedded with the preconceptions and societal prejudices that prevailed at the time of their conception. As Donna Haraway critiqued in her 1984 text “Teddy Bear Patriarchy,” nature is in fact a technology constructed by social practice.
This series, consisting of screenings, reading groups and workshops, revolves around a case study that contrasts the renovation of dinosaur displays in two natural science/history museums. In 1995, the Fossil Halls of the American Museum of Natural History in New York were reopened, exhibiting a large number of dinosaur fossil replicas, while in 2004, the Life Science Hall of the National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung was transformed into a display of robotic dinosaurs. Does the different choice in technological media for these exhibitions reflect the contrasts in methods of interpretation and readings of scientific knowledge between the two regions? How do relationships between humans and non-humans manifest through different modes of display in varying political and social-economic networks? How should we think about the decolonization of the natural history museum in the context of a timescale beyond human existence (deep time)?
This event series aims to bring together several key feminist texts for group reading, film screenings and workshops, to slowly read, articulate and attend to the significance of (displaying) dinosaurs.
Session #1 2022.03.12 2-5pm
Screening: Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival, Director: Fabrizio Terranova
Presentation: Articulating Dinosaurs in Taiwan, presented by Shih-yu Hsu
Session #2 2022.04.19 2-5pm
Texts: Fishy Beginnings in Bodies of Water by Astrida Neimanis
Led by I-yi Hsieh
Session #3 2022.05.14 2-5pm
Text: What is the Measure of Nothingness? Infinity, Virtuality, Justice by Karen Barad
Led by Chuang Chun-mei
Session #4 2022.06.18 2-5pm
Text: When the Things We Study Respond to Each Other, Tools for Unpacking “The Material” by Anna Tsing
Led by I-yi Hsieh
Session #5 2022.07.16 2-5pm
Screening: Once I Met a Guy Who Drew Dinosaurs
Coloring Workshop: Dinosaurs Are Coming
*Session #2 – #5 are closed group participation.