Where new confronts old
LORNA MARSH They are not the kind of sights you might usually expect to see among the oil paintings and stuffed animals at Norwich Castle.
They are not the kind of sights you might usually expect to see among the oil paintings and stuffed animals at Norwich Castle.
And visitors are likely to do a triple take when they see art critic Brian Sewell examining a plaque in the gallery and discover it is in fact a waxwork, and find that an egg among the bird exhibits is of a giant fibreglass variety.
It is all part of a unique show that aims to bring modern art to a wider audience, making it more accessible by placing pieces in the context of more conventional Castle Museum displays.
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Called ART out of Place the show puts exhibits in complementary settings but ones that emphasise the contrasts between the more usual castle exhibits and these temporary ones.
Aside from the Waxwork of a Brian Sewell Lookalike by Rory Macbeth and Darren Phizacklea and Oeuvre (Duck) by Gavin Turk visitors will encounter a "spooky" sound recording in the loos of a woman talking about her hygiene obsession and a video of an aggressive cat next to the stuffed lions.
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Victorian Toilets by Frances Goodman and Beast by Marina Kappos have been borrowed for the Contemporary Art Norwich 05 show (CAN.05) but others have commissioned to highlight the castle's changing roles.
Julian Walker's Collection: Items Held consists of 4,692 museum specimens covering a 20-metre long wall and labelled with the name of a castle prisoner to create a link between the museum and the site when it was the county jail.
And a tongue-in-cheek piece by Nils Norman will be a huge banner in the keep listing ideas for the castle's future use, such as a eco-building with wind turbines on the roof and algae ponds in the keep.
Nicholas Thornton, curator of art, said it was an exhibition that the museum had wanted to hold for some time.
"It is the first time we have integrated contemporary art throughout the museum and we hope it will introduce it to more people.
"It is meant to be a fun show, a conversation between contemporary art and the museum and if people are challenged by it that will be a positive thing, we will have got them thinking."
The show is part of a summer of contemporary art organised by CAN.05 and supported by the Arts Council and the East Anglian Arts Foundation.
It opens on July 2 and goes on until September 25.
t www.can05.co.uk; www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk