"Brian Dillon's Epergne: On Essayism," On the Seawall, June 18, 2019.
Claes Oldenburg’s Mouse Museum is an installation artwork comprised of 385 curious objects collected and displayed in a black room-sized enclosure in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head. Documentation of its most recent installation includes photographs of the objects within, which Oldenburg arranged in austere, lit cases. One contains a grouping of frothy plastic sundaes. Another displays a scattering of lime green letters, a miniature ladder, a necktie, a panel of mounted peanut shells, a pack of Winston cigarettes, a rubber hamburger, and what appears to be a double-headed dildo. Mouse Museum is a Wunderkammer of twentieth-century American material culture. I wonder if it was this dimension of Oldenburg’s work that captured Brian Dillon’s attention when he wrote about Tacita Dean’s documentary film of the elderly Oldenburg in his studio, dusting his curios with a paintbrush.
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