Taryn Simon

Birds of the West Indies


Paris

  • , Azerbaijan, 2014
    4 black & white images
    50,2 x 93,3 cm (framed)
  • , Afghanistan, 2014
    4 black & white images, archival inkjet prints in boxed mat and aluminium frame
  • , Ionian Sea, 2014
    2 black & white images, archival inkjet prints in boxed mat and aluminium frame
    41 x 42,2 cm (framed)
  • , France, 2014
    12 black & white images, archival inkjet prints in boxed mat and aluminium frame
    90,5 x 163,2 cm (framed)
  • , Italy, 2014
    64 black & white images, Diptych: archival inkjet prints in 2 boxed mat and aluminium frames
    101,3 x 482 cm (framed)
  • , Monaco, 2014
    5 black & white images, archival inkjet prints in boxed mat and aluminium frame
    41 x 91,1 cm (framed)
  • , North Korea, 2014
    1 black & white image, archival inkjet prints in boxed mat and aluminium frame
    41 x 27,6 cm (framed)
  • , Undisclosed Latin American Country, 2014
    3 black & white images, archival inkjet prints in boxed mat and aluminium frame
    50,2 x 62,2 cm (framed)
  • , United States, 2014
    53 black & white images, Diptych: archival inkjet prints in 2 boxed mats and aluminium frames
    101,3 x 393,1 cm (framed)

Press release

Parallel to Taryn Simon’s exhibition at Jeu de Paume, the American artist’s first monographic exhibition at a French institution, Almine Rech Gallery is pleased to present in its Paris space the European premiere of Simon’s Birds of the West Indies, from February 21st until March 14th, 2015.

In 1936, an American ornithologist named James Bond published the definitive taxonomy Birds of the West Indies. Ian Fleming, an active bird-watcher living in Jamaica, appropriated the name for his novel’s lead character. He found it “flat and colourless,” a fitting choice for a character intended to be “anonymous. . . a blunt instrument in the hands of the government.” This co-opting of a name was the first in a series of substitutions and replacements that would become central to the construction of the Bond narrative.

Conflating Bond the ornithologist with 007, Taryn Simon uses the title and format of the ornithologist’s taxonomy for her work Birds of the West Indies (2013–2014). In Birds of the West Indies, 2014, Simon casts herself as James Bond (1900–1989) the ornithologist, and identifies, photographs, and classifies all the birds that appear within the twenty-four films of the James Bond franchise…