Diane Fox, senior lecturer and director of exhibits at the College of Architecture and Design, has been chosen to exhibit at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the largest museum in Europe devoted to contemporary art.
Photographs from her long-running series, “UnNatural History“, will be part of the museum’s Dioramas exhibit June 14–September 10. The exhibit presents contemporary artists whose work explores the diorama and offers a unique understanding of the history of spectatorship.
“UnNatural History” is a collection of Fox’s photographs that capture taxidermy dioramas in history museums across the world. It explores the divisions between life and death and reality and fabrication.
Fox accepted an invitation to display her work after being selected by the three exhibit curators, one of whom had previously seen and enjoyed her series.
“Being included in the Dioramas exhibit is a great honor, as my photographs will be placed not only in Paris within this incredible space, but also alongside great artists like Hiroshi Sugimoto and will be seen by people from all over the world,” said Fox. “This is the most prestigious venue in which I have exhibited, and I am still surprised that the curators from Paris and London were familiar with ‘UnNatural History.'”
Fox began photographing museum exhibits in 2000 because of her interest in the diorama’s representation of nature.
“It is this dichotomy between the real and the unreal, the version of life portrayed and the actuality of death, the inherent beauty of the animals within their fabricated environment and the understanding of its invention that finds me both attracted and repelled,” said Fox.
There are three bodies of work in Fox’s “UnNatural History” series—black and white, color, and portraits.
Within the College of Architecture and Design, Fox teaches photography and graphic design.
“I feel this experience, like all experiences, will enrich me and give me more to share with my students,” she said. “My hope is that this will open new doors for me as an artist and lead to new opportunities to exhibit and continue making my work.”
Solo exhibitions of Fox’s work have taken place in Tower Fine Arts Gallery at State University of New York Brockport; Greyfriars Art Space in Norfolk, England; Dom Muz Gallery in Torun, Poland; and Santa Reparata Gallery in Florence, Italy. Images from “UnNatural History” are cited in Art and Animals by Giovanni Aloi and Taxidermy by Alexis Turner.
Fox holds degrees from UT and Middle Tennessee State University. She will travel to Paris in June to attend the exhibit opening.
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