Museum of Optography, The Purple Chamber

Sharjah Art Foundation presents Derek Ogbourne’s Museum of Optography, The Purple Chamber, the latest instalment of the London-based artist’s ongoing Museum of Optography. This art installation was created in 2007 as an investigation into the idea that a ‘final image’ can be imprinted temporarily on the retina at the moment of death. Ogbourne’s touring exhibition consists of drawings, paintings, photography, time-based media and objects that blur the boundaries between art, science and history.

The Museum of Optography will be housed in the Collections Building in Sharjah’s Arts Area. Inspired by trauma, fear of a sudden end, and a fascination with that inevitable moment when the world enters the retina for the last time, the themed clusters of objects that make up the Museum highlight the relationship between the imagination and death, and invite one to engage with myth, science and perception.

The Purple Chamber, a new chapter in the history of the Museum of Optography, is a dark place where light enters but never escapes; a place where shadows create vague images for the imagination; a place which once was far off in time, where dust and dirt now cover everything. It is the receptacle and the catcher of truth, whether it is before us, in our minds, or in our skulls. A model of the mind in conflict over the inconceivable notion of the moment of death, its function is to be both cold and objective like a camera, while simultaneously casting doubt in the mind of the viewer.