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Publication Detail
An Arbitrary Taxonomy of Birds
'An Arbitrary Taxonomy of Birds' (www.simonfaithfull.org/works/arbitrary_taxonomy_birds/ ) was the result of a 6-month residency at Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. The installation occupied the Bruckensaal of the Natural History Museum and consisted of 120 of the museum's specimens and 120 of the artist's drawings collected together into a series of eccentric taxonomies such as: 'Those who fit on my hand' or 'Those Who Became Red'. The installation addressed the scientific ordering systems of taxonomy, but rather than merely looking at these systems, the piece used the precious material from the collections itself – reordering it into new absurd constellations and installing this back within the fabric of the museum itself. Through this, the work sought to destabilise some of the museum’s scientific certainties and to reframe our individual species against (or actually within) the billions of other interconnected species with which we share this planet. This solo installation was one of two commissions from Wellcome Trust and the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin under the umbrella of 'Contagious Cities'.
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