Artist's Statement: Theresa Bruno discusses her 'imaginary museum' in Bournemouth

Theresa Bruno interviewed by Mark Sheerin | 29 July 2014

Culture24 was in Dorset for another installment of Artist's Statement. At SIX we met Theresa Bruno, who told us about her latest work

Colour photo of an artist beside a screen and a collection of sculptures on shelves
Theresa Bruno at SIX gallery Bournemouth© Culture24
Artist’s Statement: in their own words...Theresa Bruno talks about her Musée Imaginaire, an extensive display of appropriated artefacts and artworks made using a 3D printer

“There are 12 by 12 cm square white shelves and they’ve covering a white wall. There are about 25 of them and most of them have a 3D print which is about 10cm tall and those are blue in colour.

They’re all labelled on foam board. So you have the title, you have the year they were made, which is 2014, and it says Wallisdown, which is the location I made them. Underneath that all of them read ABS1.75mm blue plastic.

The prints themselves are a mixture of objects...from art history, from tourist souvenirs, to famous landscapes and natural history things. One favourite is Brancusi’s endless column. One of them is Jeff Koons’ balloon dog.

I got access to the 3D printer through my office job where we use it to print accessories. I wanted to explore a bit of new technology.

I chose the blue because, with the software to create the drawings, the object immediately comes up blue and you can’t change it. I wanted to reference the software.

What I wanted to do with the green screen and 3D printing was explore technology that I haven’t worked with before. And I also think that 3D printing is new so I was trying to push it as far as I can to see what you can do on your own.

I’m interested in the idea of DIY museums. If you think about the Sir John Soane Museum, when he used to travel and collect loads of stuff, and if you go into his house now, it’s exactly as it was when he died.

He used to just collect loads of stuff from everywhere and have it in his house.

I’m interested in the idea of collections: people who collect, what they collect, what these objects symbolise, how they form the sense of self.

And also I’m interested in the distribution of power, the translation of a previously dictated history.

I’m appropriating existing sculptures and calling them my own by creating them from scratch.

I’m generally an appropriator so I work with existing pieces. But this show is a new part of my practice because I feel a lot of my work has been rather static and this has a flux to it.

On screen is a 3D printed version of the Venus of Willendorf, which is about 15 cm tall, which is pink, and she’s been green screened onto a rainbow multi-coloured moving mandala. And she’s reading out a whole load of appropriated texts which I’ve collected.

Some of the shelves are empty and the tags mentions objects which are from my personal history, like my first tooth.

Some of the gaps refer to objects which existed in history or are fictional, for example the Philosopher’s Stone, or Drink Me potion.

So I feel like by creating the sculptures I’ve monumentalised things that were already monumental. But I’m monumentalising knowledge as well.”

  • Bruno’s Musée Imaginaire was at SIX in Bournemouth, July 26-27 2014.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.

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