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Among Christopher Williams's investigations into the institutional world of archives and museums is the portfolio of twenty-seven photographs entitled Angola to Vietnam*. The photographs show installation views of selected flower replicas from the Harvard Botanical Museum's Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models, made between 1887 and 1936. By choosing to photograph glass flower models from countries where political disappearances were recorded in 1985, Williams reclassifies them by country of origin rather than by the museum's system. Over the institution's botanical classification, based on science, the artist proposes another, based on politics, underlining the biased nature of any classification system.
Christopher Williams.
Vietnam. 1989.

Blaschka Model 272, 1892. Genus no. 8594. Family, Cucurbitaceae. Luffa cylindrica (Linn.) Roem. Gelatin silver print, 11 x 14" (28 x 35.5 cm). The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The El Paso Natural Gas Company Fund for California Art. Photo: courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York

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