Alois Kronschlaeger, Habitat, 2012

Habitat, 2012
SiTE:LAB, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In the Mammal Hall of the former Grand Rapids Public Museum, I created a site-specific installation, entitled Habitat, juxtaposing the existing landscapes of 27 habitat dioramas built in the mid-20th century with contemporary architectural intervention. By doing so, I explored what happens in an environment when overlaying a geometric abstraction onto representational yet “virtual” spaces. Through my intervention, the threshold was broken and I invited viewers to enter into the constructed landscape.

Each individual diorama presented its own challenge and allowed me to explore new forms with new materials including plexiglass, carpeting, plaster, and ceiling tiles. In treating the dioramas as historical artifacts, the installation of this exhibition took three weeks with the help of two assistants. Mark Stryker of the Detroit Free Press wrote, “The New York artist magically transforms the natural history dioramas in a gallery through the imposition of architectural forms. In one, wooden grids hold deer captive. In another, visitors walk inside the environment via a bridge: present reality invading a mythologized past.”

To view photos of the project, please click here.

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