Art, Language, Farming
by Peter Nadin
EP 26: TAXONOMY TRANSPLANTED: ART, LANGUAGE, FARMING by PETER NADIN contains an essay on the author’s artistic and farming practice, as well as “Theater of Life and Death,” a diary documenting three seasons on Old Field Farm. The book also features essays by Chris Murtha, Robert L. Beyfuss, Jason Farago, and Glenn O’Brien on art, botany, and taxonomy. TAXOMONY TRANSPLANTED is published on the occasion of Nadin’s eponymous exhibition at The Horticultural Society of New York in December 2012.
Since the middle of the eighteenth century plants have been classified according to a system devised by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who gave species Latin names based on their observable characteristics. But, NADIN asks, what actual connection does an organism have to its own name? How do names determine our perceptions of them? And what would a plant call itself, if it could?
NADIN’S art, and this book, examines the most fundamental questions of life and consciousness, drawing on the experiences and the materials of Old Field Farm, where the author and artist raises pigs and chickens, keeps bees, and grows vegetables and herbs. The farmer, in his conception, is another animal on the farm, and farming reveals the boundaries of perception and consciousness to which each species is subject. In his new work, NADIN explores the elusive possibility of entering into the worlds of other organisms, animals and plants alike, in order to understand the consequences of our dependence on language and perception – to see ourselves as rooted in language, as plants are rooted in soil.
PETER NADIN studied at Newcastle-upon-Tyne University in England from 1972-1976. He received the Max Beckmann Award from the Brooklyn Museum in 1976. His work is in public and private collections in the U.S. and Europe, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1992, he did a major exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art and, in 2007, he did a major show at the Wifredo Lam Center in Havana, which traveled throughout Cuba. He has written many books, including Tide of Tongues, Still Life, and The First Mark: Unlearning How to Make Art (see EP 20). In June 2011, he did an installation and painting exhibition at Gavin Brown Enterprise in New York. NADIN is currently on the adjunct faculty at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
First edition paperback, January 2013, 168 pp., sewn, bound and printed in Italy, with a two-color cover and a black and white photograph of the artist on the frontispiece with 13 black and white and 20 color illustrations.