Taxidermy, Longing & Beastly Allure: An Illustrated Lecture with Rachel Poliquin, Author of The Breathless Zoo
Observatory (543 Union St., Brooklyn)
In her new book The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing, Rachel Poliquin–best known for her blog “Ravishing Beasts”–explores the cultural history and poetic resonance of taxidermy from its rudimentary beginnings in cabinets of wonder to its revival in contemporary art. From hunting trophies to extinct species and kitten weddings to perpetual pets, The Breathless Zoo examines the meaning and matter of preserved animal-things and why anyone would want them to exist, and attempts to get to the heart of taxidermy by answering two fundamental questions: why would anyone want to preserve an animal, and what is this animal-thing now? Animal or object? Animal and object. This is the irresolvable tension that defines all taxidermy. As The Breathless Zoo demonstrates, with taxidermy there are no easy answers.