Sam Melser

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I first began archiving whilst at Art School in Bordeaux, France, in the early 2000’s. I created an image archive with over 500 documents, (including my own works) that I numbered and categorised. The labels were written with a feather and ink like was common practice during the 16th century when Michel de Montaigne was alive. In Bordeaux, I began thinking about taxonomy and classifications and did an internship with the Musee d’Aquitaine alongside Sigolene Loiseaux. I had the opportunity to sneak in an installation, behind the scenes, in the archive including a mammoth tooth and fossilised mammoth poo.

We also developed the exhibition and exhibition catalogue Venus et Cain : Figures de la Prehistoire 1830-1930, when I was at the museum in 2003. This is an historic exhibition in that it was perhaps the first to specifically address the theme of prehistory in 19th century and early 20th century European painting. Many of the images below come from the Natural History Museum in Basel, Switzerland, the Musee d'Aquitaine, France and Prehistorama, near Nimes, France. Included are reproductions of a series of "docudrawings" - hand manipulated images confusing and combining science, religious themes and sexuality. 

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