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Morgana Karch

Dissertation Project

Taxidermic Matters (Working title) 

The research project "Taxidermic Matters" examines preserved animals and the natural history museums that display them, through the lens of the so-called ontological turn, in which both objects and materialities are thought of as active and equipped with agency. This opens up a broader investigation into these hybrid artistic-scientific models, the conceptions of nature they are rooted in, and their underlying hierarchical relationships. The hybridity of taxidermy mounts offers a compelling backdrop for applying neo-materialist theory in that both –the hybridity of the models and neo-materialist thought– defy fundamental dichotomies such as human/animal, nature/culture and subject/object. The taxonomic treatment of nature that is displayed in museums of natural history is examined critically shifting the focus from these boundaries towards the interconnectedness and entanglements of the supposed dichotomies. In this context, "Taxidermic Matters" furthermore investigates the forms of epistemic violence that arise from rendering invisible certain actors, materialities and the –preparatory– steps of the representational process, which produces scientific models such as these specimens. 


Morgana Karch studied Art history and Cultural science at TU Berlin, and European Media Studies at the University and Fachhochschule Potsdam. She works as a curatorial assistant, translator, editor, andtranscriptionist. She has been involved in these roles to varying degrees in projects by Radialsystem V, Creamcake e.V., EVBG Berlin, BafF e.V. (German Association of Psychosocial Centers for Refugees and Survivors of Torture), Merve Verlag, and the Humboldt University Berlin. 


„Models of Control: Taxidermy, Data Collection and the Production of Norms“, Symposium "<Interrupted =“Cyfem and Queer>“, Berlin, August 2019.