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"Lost Objects" & "Natural Copies"Allan McCollum
Filmed in his Brooklyn studio, artist Allan McCollum discusses two projects utilizing dinosaur fossils—Lost Objects (begun 1991) and Natural Copies (begun 1994)—and his interest in how both scientific and local communities define the historical value of objects.More information and credits
Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Wesley Miller. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Tom Bergin. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Artwork Courtesy: Allan McCollum. Special Thanks: Vera Alemani, Celina Paiz, Marcie Paper & Adele Röder. Video: © 2011, Art21, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Applying strategies of mass production to handmade objects, Allan McCollum’s labor-intensive practice questions the intrinsic value of the unique work of art. McCollum’s installations—fields of vast numbers of small-scale works, systematically arranged—are the product of many tiny gestures, built up over time. Viewing his work often produces a sublime effect—as one slowly realizes that the dizzying array of thousands of identical-looking shapes is, in fact, composed of subtly different, distinct things. Economical in form, yet curious in function, his work and mechanical-looking processes are infused with humor and humility.