Notes And Queries On Anthropology    1874, 1892, 1899, 1912, 1929, 1951

Collected by Yoeri Guépin 

1966 pages, full color, 2014


 

This collecting project takes the form of a book, and will be the basis of future projects. It consists of two activities; the gesture of collecting and the act of photographing. The subsequent book consists of all the existing editions of the Victorian anthropological field guide Notes And Queries On Anthropology. Each individual book is photographed page by page from various archives. These photographs are then compiled in a large, bound volume situated between an object of knowledge, and a resource for study, the book compares the development and edits of the editions as the “methods” of viewing the other become redundant, redeveloped and even anachronistic. These travelling guides were developed to supply travelers with questions and instructions on how to collect scientific data in the so-called “new world”. This data then could be studied and interpreted by anthropologists who in those times did not travel themselves, something of an armchair anthropology. The field guide has been rewritten and re-published six times between 1874 and 1951 and covers the rapid development in the field of anthropology as it attempted to archive disappearing tribes around the world. These guides are key to the transformation of anthropology as a curiosity driven activity, toward its current phase as a scientific discipline that classifies cultures into taxonomic systems. Central to the project is the question of how subjective perception, and observation, is translated to scientific facts and how these facts are represented in a complex taxonomic system as new editions emerge out of the collected data. - text by Yoeri Guépin

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