Posted by: Amanda McCuaig on August 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Curator of the 2009/2010 Ravishing Beasts exhibition (no longer on display), Rachel Poliquin, is on the verge of releasing her new book, The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Culture of Longing.

About the book, she says:

"Taking off from some of the things I talk about in this blog, my book explores the cultural and poetic history of preserving animals in lively postures from sixteenth-century cabinets of wonders to contemporary animal art. Why does anyone want to preserve an animal, and what does this animal-thing become? I suggest that taxidermy is always entwined with the enduring human longing to find meaning within the natural world. By drawing out the longings at the heart of taxidermy—the longing for wonder, beauty, spectacle, order, narrative, allegory, and remembrance—I explore the animal spectacles we desire to see, human assumptions of superiority, the yearnings for hidden truths within animal form, and the loneliness and longing that haunt our strange human existence, being both within and apart from nature."

If Ravishing Beasts caught your eye, I suspect it this will be a fascinating read for you.