What we know about James Bond, Agent 007, besides his credo “Shaken, not stirred,” is his taste for fast cars, beautiful women, and the latest gadgets and weaponry. Artist Taryn Simon’s latest project, “Birds of the West Indies,” unveiled this month at the 2013 Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, takes its name from the definitive taxonomy written by ornithologist James Bond, the namesake of avid bird-watcher Ian Fleming’s fictional hero. Simon painstakingly inventories the women, weapons, and vehicles appearing in five decades of Bond films, taking stock of the accessories aiding the Bond narrative’s fantasy of the ageless and invincible Western male, exploring, according to Simon, “the economic and emotional value associated with a narrative that is essentially always the same, in another form.” An accompanying monograph from Hatje Cantz will follow at the end of this month.
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