Bill Willers: Excavated Centaur Skeletons


The Centaur of Tymfi


The Centaur Excavations at Volos

Bill Willers’ centaurs are mock excavations. Somewhere between art and science exhibits, the skeletons are accompanied by ceramics from the “excavations” and plaques that treat the skeletons and other items as truly found by archaeologists. A professor of biology, Willers challenges viewers to suspend their disbelief… or to question what they see. The exhibit also draws attention to the place of art in disciplines such as science and history, and the grey area between the objective and subjective.

The “centaurs” are comprised of the skeletons of humans and ponies – real bones to create impossible creatures.

In this article, the artist is quoted talking about the presentation of his centaur as something that can be real or believed in: “I want to trigger that belief and extend it, to trigger a feeling of wonder that connects people to the natural world, to see a person like themselves as a wild animal.”