Everyone’s talking about taxidermy these days. And why not? It’s awesome. Life-long taxidermy connoisseur and scholar Rachel Poliquin’s new book, The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and The Cultures of Longing explains why.
Taxidermy is an ancient art form that boasts a rich history and spans time, culture, and place. In her book, Poliquin says the discipline’s lure comes from the “irresolvable tension [of] animal or object” that comes with stuffing something that was once alive and presenting it eerily frozen in time outside its natural habitat. There are all kinds of reasons why taxidermy still exits, she continues, be it fashion, science, art, or otherwise. Poliquin sees seven central motivations for the practice, which she deems “narratives of longing that impel the creation of taxidermy: wonder, beauty, spectacle, order, narrative, allegory, and remembrance.”
What category do you think this fits into?
The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and The Cultures of Longing will be released in July. Poliquin also has a pretty great blog, called Ravishing Beasts.