‘Objects in Stereo’ is a new exhibition by British photographer Jim Naughten, whose work explores historic collections through a combination of stereoscopic and large-scale photography. The exhibition presents a new perspective into the practice of keeping a collection and asks what it means to keep and care for museum objects.
Naughten uses stereoscopic photography, a technique that makes two-dimensional images appear three-dimensional. Using specially created viewers, you can see the stereoscopic photographs in 3D, showing these usually unseen objects in beautiful detail.
For ‘Objects in Stereo’, Jim Naughten visited Blythe House in west London which, until its recent closure, was home to objects from the collections formed by Henry Wellcome on long-term loan to the Science Museum Group.
Naughten was one of the last artists to access the building and the collections stored there, and his images offer a glimpse of objects usually hidden from public view. His large-scale photographic views of the storerooms reveal the architecture of the building, and of museum storage itself. These images show relationships between individual objects in store, and question how these kinds of spaces might shape our encounters with them.
There are also ways to engage with the exhibition that don’t rely on seeing the 3D effect. You can look at the photographs as regular images without a viewer. Close-up images on the resource table offer detailed views.
‘Objects in Stereo’ encourages us to look closely at museum objects usually hidden from view. It reminds us of the complex relationship between seeing and understanding materials in museums’ collections.
The exhibition is curated by Ruth Horry and Emily Sargent.