Where the Wild Things Are (2014)

A campus curated intervention by Nina Liebenberg as part of the Honours in Curatorship course (CCA) 2014, Where the Wild Things Are explored the political, social and historical narratives embedded in the natural world through investigation, observation, mapping, archival research and art making.

Spanning over two main sites, Hiddingh Campus and the new Department of Biological Sciences (merging the Botany and Zoology departments) on Upper Campus, the exhibition developed in two parts: The first part consisting of various on-site interventions engaging with contemporary and historical spatial dynamics and the significance of Hiddingh Campus – home to the Egyptian building which functioned as a zoo in the late eighteenth century, replete with lion’s dens and a small lake that supposedly housed a hippo, as well as the very first Zoology and Botany Building (now the Michaelis Building). Students drew on the methodologies of artist/curator Mark Dion, collaborating with specialists from upper campus (entomologists, ornithologists and botanists) and Michaelis Fine Art students, to activate the campus as a natural environment.The second part of the exhibition will entail filling six display cases in the new Biological Sciences department, using the exhibition and on-site interventions as inspiration for different collection thematics.