456 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
February 27 – April 12, 2014
Currently on view at Gagosian, Beverly Hills is “Birds of the West Indies,” a solo exhibition by Taryn Simon. In 1936, American ornithologist James Bond published the definitive taxonomy “Birds of the West Indies.” Writer Ian Fleming, an active bird watcher, appropriated the author’s name for his own now famous novels. Conflating Bond the ornithologist with Bond the secret agent, Taryn Simon uses the title and format of the ornithologist’s taxonomy for her own two-part body of work, “Birds of the West Indies” (2013–14). The first element of the work is a photographic inventory of the women, innovative weaponry and luxury cars of Bond films made over the past fifty years. In the second element of the work, Simon casts herself as the ornithologist James Bond, identifying, photographing, and classifying all the birds that appear within the 24 films comprising the James Bond film franchise.