Cabinet of Curiosities



Exhibited at Gallery SULUV, Novi Sad, Serbia



The starting point for this project is the painted, eclectic Cabinet of Curiosities.
It's an imitation of fragments that represented power and status in colonial society. In my painted and deconstructed collection, I have presented microcosms of contemporary times supplemented by quotes from the past. From the symbiosis of incompatible elements, past and future, East and West, emerges a new - exotic hybrid environment. The boundaries between subjects and objects blur, and the material and immaterial, human and non-human coexist uniquely in this collection. 

I'm inspired by ideas of metamorphosis and identity change. Constant transformation is part of the natural process; organisms constantly adapt. One way is through crossbreeding. Taxidermy specimens such as a boar and fox, traditionally prepared as hunting trophies, are excellent examples that I wanted to transform into mutated new beings. The Boar depicts a hybrid of woman and animal, halted in the transformation process with two additional eyes and human lips. The Fox has human hair duplicated and transferred from me to her.


Ancient Lotus shoes, appearing in larger numbers, are part of the story of hidden deformities. I exhibited them as decorative foot masks; thus separated from the body, they become just small, strange isolated garments.

Installation view: 
The glove woman (2024); Two self-portrait with digital masks (2023); Coral hand (2022); Tattooed hand (2022); Rare green mushrooms (2018); Snake woman (2024) and Vanity fair mirrored fireplace (2022).
Gallery SULUV, Novi Sad, Serbia, 2024.





The exhibition was preceded by a photo performance recorded by the artist Andrea Palasti. Thus, this exhibition can be viewed simultaneously in the physical space as well as in the digital one. In the photos, you can see the masks that I put in front of me and thus change the scene, merging my body with the painted faces.


Artist at her Studio. Photographies by Andrea Palasti, 2024. Andrea Palasti


Why do we need to collect objects, archive, and curate the world?

The construction of identity is seen through ownership, where one has authority over curated items. They represent prestige, something others do not possess. It allows us to reimagine the world through personal mythology. It also serves as a self-portrait of the owner in multiple ways, as is the case with any curating art.


Monika Sigeti