Taryn Simon: Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies
Three protagonists: ornithologist James Bond, author Ian Fleming and film character James Bond\n1n 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 novels 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.\nIn Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies, Taryn Simon (*1975) casts herself as James Bond (19001989) the ornithologist, and identifies, photographs, and classifies all the birds that appear within the twenty-four films of the James Bond franchise. The appearance of many of the birds was unplanned and virtually undetected, operating as background noise for whatever set they happened to fly into. Simons ornithological discoveries occupy a liminal spaceconfined within the fiction of the James Bond universe and yet wholly separate from it. This taxonomy of 331 birds is a precise consideration of a new nature found in an alternate reality.
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