Taxidermy as Epiphany of Death

October 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

From the Series “Taxidermy as Epiphany of Death”. (c) Connie Mendoza & Nik Pitton

“[..] Taxidermy was about the single story, about nature’s unity, the unblemished type specimen. Taxidermy became the art most suited to the epistemological and aesthetic stance of realism. The power of this stance is in its magical effects:what is so painfully constructed appears effortlessly, spontaneously found, discovered, simply there if one will only look. Realism does not appear to be a point of view, but appears as a “peephole into the jungle” where peace may be witnessed. Epiphany comes as a gift, not as the fruit of merit and toil, soiled by the hand of man. Realistic art at its most deeply magical issues in revelation. This art repays labor with transcendence. Small wonder that artistic realism and biological science were twin brothers in the founding of the civic order of nature at the American Museum of Natural History. It is also natural that taxidermy and biology depend fundamentally upon vision in a hierarchy of the senses; they are tools for the construction, discovery of form.”

Primate Visions, Donna Haraway . pp 38-40

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