Cover image of the review
error message on *Monkey effigy bottle*, Chimú-Inca, 1470-1533 Chimú, north coast Peru Collection: NGV, Melbourne

  • Victoria Perin

14 Nov 2020

The public is extremely interested in art gallery storage: what percentage of the collection is currently not on display, how things are protected while stored, the (true) legends about rooms that cut off oxygen for the purpose of extinguishing a fire without water–keeping priceless treasures safe while potentially asphyxiating trapped workers. Gallery guides love to offer visitors these titbits and people lap them up. The submerged portion of the collection that is locked away acts as a monstrous subconscious hoard in opposition to the delicately curated display. At any given moment we want to see what they won’t let us see more than what they want to show us.

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