Gath­er­ing Place’s Cab­i­net of Won­der cap­ti­vates and en­thralls

La Semana - - FRONT PAGE / PORTADA -

Gath­er­ing Place, as any­one who has vis­ited it can at­test, is far more than just a park, and a new art in­stal­la­tion in the Boathouse raises the bar even higher.


Cab­i­net of Won­der is the cre­ation of na­tion­ally ac­claimed, New York based artist Mark Dion, who spent a year and a half as­sem­bling the en­thralling col­lec­tion that opened to the pub­lic on Novem­ber 3.

Just as Gath­er­ing Place shat­ters stereo­types when it comes to pub­lic parks, Cab­i­net of Won­der is by no means a typ­i­cal art ex­hi­bi­tion. What Dion has cre­ated is an ex­pe­ri­ence that is both im­mer­sive and cap­ti­vat­ing, elic­it­ing lots of “oohs” and “ahs” from vis­i­tors of all ages as they step into the spe­cially built space and get a first look at the col­lec­tion of unique ob­jects, his­tor­i­cal ar­ti­facts, and cu­rios from around the world.

But things don’t have to come from far away to fas­ci­nate.

“At lease 65% come from Tulsa and the sur­round­ing area,” Dion told La Se­m­ana, de­scrib­ing north­east Ok­la­homa as “an in­cred­i­bly rich area for an­tiques and other strange things.”

Among lo­cally themed ob­jects are pho­tos show­ing the con­struc­tion of the iconic Golden Driller as well as a col­lec­tion of In­dian Ter­ri­tory maps from be­fore state­hood.

It would be im­pos­si­ble to list here all of the ob­jects in the col­lec­tion, and to do so would be a dis­ser­vice to po­ten­tial vis­i­tors, who de­serve the op­por­tu­nity to be amazed and in­spired by what they may dis­cover in­side Cab­i­net of won­der.

The ex­pe­ri­ence is truly one for the en­tire fam­ily and prom­ises to de­light pa­trons of all ages. And while Dion says there are some al­le­gor­i­cal themes present in the col­lec­tion, he leaves it to the in­di­vid­ual to form their own opin­ions about what the ex­pe­ri­ence means to them.

“I think peo­ple should trust their own re­sponses and in­stincts about what they think it means and what their en­gage­ment is with dif­fer­ent things,” Dion said. “I al­ways think that the best art is like the spark that ig­nites the fuse…That’s what won­der is, won­der leads to cu­rios­ity and cu­rios­ity leads to knowl­edge.”

Cab­i­net of Won­der is free to ex­pe­ri­ence and is open to the pub­lic at the ONEOK Boathouse daily dur­ing stan­dard park hours, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. (La Se­m­ana)

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