Catherine Bebout



Geo - Codes Series | Mapping the Body Series |
Cartographies Series | History of Medicine Series


Cartographies My recent work explores how cartography has been used throughout history to both inform and distort our perceptions of the world. Cartography, aside from it obvious value to science, has been valuable asset in the move towards globalization. Since its early inception, cartography introduced the local community to foreign cultures around the globe and as a result, became a potent tool in the promotion of political agendas. My intent is to confront the viewer with the consequences of science, technology, exploration, and exploitation and illustrate its impact on culture.

The art of cartography and publishing travelogues like the Nuremberg Chronicles were primary sources of knowledge during the medieval period. Maps not only depicted a country’s flora and fauna, but also stereotypical images of culture. On the heels of cartography, Curiosity Cabinets and specimen collecting became another obsession that advanced science and technology. The cabinets exposed spectators to the traveler’s wandering interests while at the same time reflected the collector’s worldly views and idiosyncratic hodgepodge of interests. Through the art of specimen collecting, the cabinets not only introduced, but also informed audiences and over time the methodology became the basis for modern museums today. My aim is to take the viewer on a metaphorical journey and to invoke questions of how our past informs our present.