Voyage of the Beagle
Suite of 57 digital inkjet prints
40 x 30 cm (15 3/4 x 11 13/16 in.)
Menhirs, mannequins, bronzes, a Brancusi, a Rodin, hunting trophies, tribal masks, stuffed animals, posters and monuments... These uninterruptedly scrolling 57 photographic "portraits" comprise the work Voyage of the Beagle, named after Charles Darwin's diary of exploratory voyages. The disparate series can be read in either direction, with many sculptural motifs from different civilisations and periods, like an "imaginary museum" that would exhibit a subjective, non-chronological evolution of art history, understood here in a very broad sense.
In this photo series, Rachel Harrison compares and juxtaposes anachronistic images and the new meanings they can engender. She describes her approach as "intuition combined with thought". Her many references include quotations from art history, from Picasso to African sculpture, to motifs from nature, pop culture and the mass media. Together they form modern-day menhirs.
Voyage of the Beagle was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the 2009 exhibition "Mapping the Studio" at the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in Venice.