Over the years, Boston artist Rosamond Purcell has photographed goliath beetles and translucent bats culled from the backrooms of natural history museums; a collection of teeth pulled by Peter the Great; moles flayed by naturalist Willem Cornelis van Heurn; and scores of worn and weathered objects, like the termite-eaten book and fish skeleton at right. Purcell is fixed, in other words, on the state of decay (...)
Purcell treats old objects with a sense of wonder. Her aesthetic has sometimes been described as pre-enlightenment. Yet the works is far more contemporary than it first appears. The obsessive focus on selecting, classifying, and repurposing- the culling of favorites from other peoples' favorites- makes it like some ultracool group projects on the Web.
Slate, Stay of Decay. Rosamond Purcell.
John Crowley, Metamorphosis: Rosamond Purcell's Natural History, Boston Review, may.-jun. 2007.
Foto 1: Cubierta del libro Endless Things de John Crowley, 2007.
Foto 2: Mole Skins From the Collection of van Heurn. Finders, Keepers: Eight Collectors, 1992
Foto 3: Wall From Studio, Two Rooms (detalle) Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2003.
Foto 4: Teeth Pulled by Peter the Great. Finders, Keepers: Eight Collectors, 1992.