Size: 14 x 20 cm (approx.)
Hardcover, cloth bound, edition of 600 copies, text by Peter Törnqvist, editing and layout by Nils Bergendal and Gösta Flemming.
In autumn 2011, the Zoological Museum in Lund, Sweden, closed permanently and all the objects have been stored away. Photographer Nils Bergendal documented the disassembling of the collection. Skeletons and skins tell the exciting history of the animals and the people who acquired them.
Humans are simply one species amongst many other species. We have the capacity to feel an attachment for our relatives from the animal kingdom at the same time viewing them as resources that we have a right to use. We differentiate ourselves from animals through our strategic abilities and our language. We have given names to the world. Even though we as a species perceive ourselves as special selected, our conditions for survival are basically the same as all other animals.
The Zoological Museum in Lund had been under threat of closure for decades and was finally deconstructed and vacated last year. The museum itself was outdated and the faculty of zoology had long lost its glory. Although founded in 1735, it was during the 1800s that the museum’s collections expanded alongside zoology’s development as a science. The ambition to understand nature, to classify it, and hold it in our hands required materials. The institution to date has counted up to 10 million objects in its possession.
We have been studying animals from the time that evolution separated us from them. Our curiosity has been met with trepidation, which is a fitting instinct. The collection includes examples of species that are extinct due to human negligence. The skeletons and skins not only tell the stories of the animals that once roamed among us but also about the people who acquired them. It is, in short, a family chronicle with a great deal underlying and an uncertain outcome.