Berkeley Art Museum: Marjolijn Dijkman: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum / MATRIX 234




Theatrum Orbis Terrarum is an ongoing photographic project initiated by Marjolijn Dijkman in 2005 and comprising more than 9,000 images. Its title refers to the first true modern atlas, the “Theater of the World,” published by Abraham Ortelius in 1570. Ortelius’s atlas, an early attempt at collecting the world in one volume of standardized maps, formed a summary of sixteenth-century cartography. At the time, it delimited an understanding of the known world (albeit framed by European imperialism and colonialism), giving form and shape to distant countries, illustrating similarities in urban planning, and visualizing connections between places across land and water. With limited tools of travel and measurement available, these early maps relied on equal parts fact and imagination; of course maps remain subjective, with the subtleties of inclusion and exclusion, and the choices of center and margin being not only practical, but also political and social. Read more…

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