A portion from the installation "Ghost Train": (Tasmanian tiger)

Andrea du Chatenier, Artist

This is one of the photographs in our collection. It was made in Whanganui, Whanganui Region, New Zealand in 2004.
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Object Detail


About the Work
"This was a surprising find in the Sarjeant’s collection as I’ve only ever known Andrea for her charismatic and crunchy ceramics. It’s interesting to reconcile the fun glazing experimentations in her ceramics with the interactive work that is Ghost Train, which provokes experimentations of a grislier nature. The inclusion of the taxidermized Tasmanian Tiger housed at the Whanganui Regional Museum melds visual arts and museology brilliantly and prompts questions into how we preserve nature, for whom, and for what reason."
- Anique Jayasinghe, 'My Choice' exhibition series, November 2022

Collections of artifacts can seem sinister as is the case with Samuel Drew’s Natural History collection at the Whanganui Regional Museum. Its breadth enabled many swaps to occur internationally so that as well as possessing an abundance of local fauna and flora it also contains specimens such as the now extinct Tasmanian tiger.
Such a collection represents a rational system, and legacy of the Age of Scientific Enlightenment which saw Captain Cook sent to the edge of the Earth in pursuit of the Transit of Venus. However, it could also be argued that these taxidermied specimens from the late 19th century also typifies the kind of irrationality which featured in Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel Frankenstein (first published in 1818), and more recently by director James Whale in his 1931 film version of Shelley’s story.
Understanding that these animals were killed to preserve/protect them for future generations presents a vision of a macabre kind of Ark. Even though DNA cloning was not conceivable at the time of their killing, the animals exist in a half-life waiting for the harvesting of their DNA and re-animation. Whichever way we view these animals they exist as extensions of our own imaginations and tell us more about ourselves than anything else.

Artist, Andrea du Chatenier has created an interactive work which invites us to ‘re-animate’ a dead animal shrouded by a sheet on the central table. If we participate (by recording an ‘inner animal’ sound onto the tape recorder) we are ‘rewarded’ by an electronic wag of the dog’s tail.

- Paul Rayner, intro to post-residency exhibition 'Re-Animation of the Dispossessed, Sarjeant Gallery 2004-2005.
Measurements
Image: 750 x 490mm
Media
black and white photograph
Description
Photograph of a Tasmanian tiger mounted specimen from Whanganui Regional Museum Collection.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Tylee Residency exchange, 2004.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
2005

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Accession Number:
2005/1/2

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