Selection by Gabriel Villalobos, asistente curatorial
Spoils of Natural History

The present selection takes as its starting point the curatorial approach of the exhibition The Natural Order of Things, in which works from Colección Jumex were grouped into orders (in some cases incorporating additional pieces), thus forming a conceptual museum. For each order, a text combining fragments of bibliographic references offered a discursive framework. It is possible to extend this strategy to offer a more profound reading of a larger number of works from the collection based on such a framework. The works in this selection explore from different perspectives the position of mankind with regards to the order of nature. The intent is to reflect upon the complex ties between the evolution of the human being as a biological entity and the history of western culture.

The development of natural sciences in modernity brought profound changes in the relation of man with the natural world. The paradigm of the Enlightenment regarding the scientific method and the systematization of knowledge bore as one of its fruits the invention of taxonomical classification, this is, the imposition of a certain order onto nature. Despite the fact that natural history testifies to an evolutionary structure in the order of life, the emergence of the human kind is framed as a particular event, a singularity. In this context, culture seeks to systematize and subdue the history of nature, pointing to an insurmountable distance between the latter and mankind while justifying violence and injustice in current societies.