Big Strange Mystery

Mixed Media
Dimensions Variable

Big Strange Mystery borrows approaches to display and presentation from documentary filmmaking, the speculative field of Cryptozoology, as well as institutions that interweave education and entertainment, like natural history and children’s museums. The all-encompassing installation presents a loose set of objects, videos, and monumental murals inspired by the customs and materials of local river culture. In addition, a narrative is introduced proposing the existence of a mythic water creature. Interviews featuring university biologist coupled with shaky-cam footage of the local environment resonate with the evidentiary and the unknown. Responding to a vague set of descriptions grade-school children were asked to make interpretive drawings of the improbable creature. These sketches, included in the exhibition, served as the basis for the central sculptural element—an oversized wood and cardboard skeletal reconstruction hanging from the gallery’s ceiling.