An Encyclopedia is comprised of photographic prints, chapbooks, sound works, glass plates, and microfilm slides that are created to address concerns of linguistic structure, forms of empirical knowledge, and other taxonomic systems used to define the perceptual experiences and reproduction of non-human animals. Each individual work is made to be donated to a public library, so far including: Special Collections at the Joseph Regenstein Library, General Collections at the Baraboo Public Library, and the Semiotics Library at the University of Tartu.
(Photo: Glass Slide 11, Danielle Rosen)
The exhibit at Counterpath features new work that engages the Denver Public Library’s catalogue as a site-specific guide. Rosen’s glass slide 599.805C175, for example, references Captivity and Behavior: Primates in Breeding Colonies, Laboratories, and Zoos, and 578.47 does the same for Denis Frank Owen’s Camouflage and Mimicry. Rosen’s work incorporates archival materials, citations, and book design to address the way information is produced, collected, and located. And in the act of locating Rosen’s images we run through our own experiential inventory. What is this form? How might I recognize it?
Informed by a variety of sources including wildlife encyclopedias, fashion magazines, human and animal scrapings, and influenced by the writing of Anne Carson, Georges Battailes, Didi Huberman, and Elizabeth Grosz, Rosen sets out to attempt “to dissolve the structures that would allow for the establishment of logical taxonomic systems.” The images the viewer sees are shifting and indefinite, biomorphic and guided by captions that prompt associations while a conclusive logic stays out of the frame. For Rosen, “the subject is the thing that morphs. It is a slice of flesh printed on paper that touches claw clippings in a shadow.”
Danielle Rosen is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living in Chicago, IL. She has exhibited nationally in New York, Philiadelphia, and Milwaukee, and is the author of The Institute For Species Systemization: An Experimental Archive (Rescue Press, 2011).
The opening of Danielle Rosen’s “An Encyclopedia” coincided with the launch of Birkensnake 6.