A Run of Noses

452 self-portraits wearing a collection of false noses.

The Nose

Friday 17 May 2013
Wellcome Collection, London

Some people collect stamps; others collect football programmes; Joshua Sofaer collects false noses. 452 false noses and growing.

Allowing these noses to smell fresh air for the first time on the occasion of The Nose at the Wellcome Collection in London, this impressive wall of photographs allows us to poke our noses into Joshua’s collection. What someone collects can often tell us as much about that person as the object but here, with the collector staring uniformly back at us, animating the noses in the process, the viewer is moved to question their own identity, or even their own nose.

By reconfiguring familiar forms such as museum collections and displays, Joshua’s artistic practice makes us reconsider what is often right in front of our noses and, as with this work, to find the smile just below it.

Briefly glimpse all 452 images in this animation or browse the selected 50 in the gallery.

The Nose was curated by Simon Gould.
With thanks to Jenny Jopson and the Wellcome Collection staff.