When Jeff Millikan focuses on nature the results are surreal, eloquent, and more than a bit subversive. His solo exhibition Collecting Memory inaugurated the Bell Museum's gallery in its brand new building in Falcon Heights.
For the past six months, as the Bell Museum has moved to its new home in St Paul, Jeff Millikan has been investigating the galleries and collection rooms, exploring the museum’s vast reservoir of objects, artifacts and scientific specimens. As the museum has worked to preserve, move and re-interpret its dioramas and other displays, Millikan has discovered and captured unexpected views and connections. A polar bear and snow geese peer out from their translucent wrappings. Small dioramas are freed from their confining windows and float as if in space. As an artist-in-residence, Millikan has also explored the museum’s scientific collections. Expect to see preserved snakes, fish, insects and birds in contexts that will make us question our relationship to nature.
As a participant in the Bell’s Resident Artist Research Program, Millikan has worked with both the public and research collections of the Bell. He has taught photography at the University of Minnesota for the last 35 years and is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Art Department.
Here's a small collection of views of Jeff's images and installations from the show, which was up from July 14 to September 2.