"Droopy History' is a concept that lives in the imagined space between 'human history' and 'natural history'. Alex Sheriff challenges the notion of an isolated 'human history' as a narrow view which suggests our species deserves it's own history separate from the rest of the planet. According to Sheriff, everything we are and everything we have done as a species is directly and totally affected by natural history.
In 'Droopy History', we can explore alternatives: the idea of history as told by and for the rocks, or plants, or worms or any other species living or dead. We can allow for space and time to lose their rules. We can even allow for mythology and science to become intertwined.These depictions of natural history are obviously heavily fantasized, but they do keep one leg grounded in the realm of science. It is important for this droopy history, no matter how altered it gets, to remain just the tiniest bit plausible (even if it is only in a strange pseudo-scientific realm of our universe). Droopy history functions in the same way science fiction can. It shows us a slightly (or drastically) shifted version of our world to which we can compare with our own reality. It is a framework to test possibilities within, and is itself an evolving universe.
Though the work arrives in a variety of forms, the process almost always begins by thinking through painting. Alex sees parallels between wet paint and the life and evolution of species: the mixing of colours and emergence of new ones, all the slightly variations when two colours swirl together before they homogenize, the potential that wet paint can be used to make anything, the death associated with dried paint, what it means to paint over the dried paint. There is droopiness in wet paint when it is full of possibilities. It is similar to the possibilities of the first single celled organism, or the common mammal from whichall others emerged. Dried paint and old collaged elements can reemerge like fossils and time travelers.
The Museum of Droopy History explores the idea of a constructed and conflated history of things by exploring motifs of natural history museums: dioramas, diagrams, models, audio-tours or educational videos. Natural history museums are inherently droopy sites. They include stretches of time and space captured and depicted simultaneously in one place. They are the story of the planet (and beyond) shown as sublime events through our language of human dramas and mythologies. They are full of beautiful paintings and sculptures that serve as man-made monuments and shrines to nature. Now, look at the fabricated diorama world complete with the antiquated and featherless T-Rex as Goliath to a Triceratops’ David, as its own droopy history, rather than just a depiction of the Cretaceous. These droopy places have always existed. In exploring them we can see that they can be full of urgent lessons, newly skewed perspectives, and gorgeous oxymorons.