A wunderkammer, otherwise known as a cabinet of curiosity. This is an animated GIF testing out the opening motion of the doors to the cabinet in my film.
Hello, my darklings. Sorry for the prolonged absence from this blog, as I’ve begun working on my new animation project entitled Wunderkammer. This project sees the return of Madelaine, the mysterious Victorian lady from my previous short films La Petite Mort (2013) and An Unfortunate Incident Involving Her Hat (2012). As always, curious happenings befall Madelaine. In the latter film, Madelaine became the victim of a very bizarre wardrobe malfunction, and in the former, she engaged in a romantic — but ultimately tragic — tryst with an octopus. Similarly, in Wunderkammer her uncanny adventures continue.
For those not familiar with the term, a wunderkammer was a Renaissance-era predecessor of the modern museum collection. Below is a definition copied from the Tate Modern web site:
Wunderkammer or curiosity cabinets were collections of rare, valuable, historically important or unusual objects, which generally were compiled by a single person, normally a scholar or nobleman, for study and/or entertainment. […]Exotic natural objects, art, treasures and diverse items of clothing or tools from distant lands and cultures were all sought for the wunderkammer. Particularly highly prized were unusual and rare items which crossed or blurred the lines between animal, vegetable and mineral. Examples of these were corals and fossils and above all else objects such as narwhal tusks which were thought to be the horns of unicorns and were considered to be magical.
— excerpt from “History of the wunderkammern (cabinet of curiosities).”
I include here some pencil sketches of the various items and curios found inside the wunderkammer of my film (subject to change as the project evolves, of course).
Three wet specimen jars containing (left to right) a jellyfish, octopus, and a snake. The octopus is a small nod to my previous film La Petite Mort.
Conjoined twins preserved within a glass specimen container (container not drawn yet).
Pair of tsantsa, or shrunken human heads. Sure, this might be culturally insensitive, but tsantsa were wildly popular in the 19th century as items of “curiosity” in European cabinets.
Taxidermy monkey with martini glass. Taxidermy of all kind was popular inside wunderkammer. Not entirely happy with this sketch, and I may revisit at a later date.
What it looks like: a cloud with a single eye. This never existed inside any wunderkammer, but it does inside mine.
The mysterious box. Believe it or not, the contents of this box will prove to be the most strange and curious item inside my wunderkammer. Stay tuned.