Project 13 GOW
30th August -24th September 2011

Penny Grennan

The Narrative of Origins

What is the narrative of origins? It is the narrative of interiority and authenticity. It is not a narrative of the object; it is a narrative of the possessor. 1  
Behind every fact there is a story and it is here that other sources of wonder lies. We may see insects, artefacts, museum collections, departments, all grouping similar things together but behind the evidence lies cultural norms, beliefs, and human judgement. Each story depends on the existence of an object, and the human interpretation of it.
Who is to say which story is true and does it matter?
Part of the narrative of collections is the names that they are given. The Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus devised the current system of two – part Latin names in1753 and this construct is an internationally recognised method of identifying and understanding species.
This work explores the use of taxonomies and the two part naming system as a way of disrupting their accepted forms and creating a new narrative behind them. It plays with how groups of objects are configured and who creates the categories that are catalysts for their stories.
Pinned, like butterflies in cases, are photographs of objects, paintings, and people, offered up for re-telling.


1. Stewart, S. (2007 - 136) On Longing. Durham and London. Duke University Press.


Photo of feet

I have eyes

I am a potato








Blue scan