Taken together, Rosamond Purcell’s photographs – records of the thinking eye – offer a prolonged meditation on a set of thematic obsessions. To look at a number of her works in sequence is to be drawn away into a stream of associations and recognitions that could threaten to leave the visual behind altogether were the original colors and textures of the thing itself is not so brilliantly immediate.
Purcell is a witness to the profundity of ruin and decay, of the perforation of our surface world of things by time; she is a philosopher of unintended signification, of the signs and traces of the natural world that our framing attention raises up from pure meaninglessness… (Birkerts, 9)
Images clockwise from top-left:
Purcell, Rosamond. (early 1990s). With the Modern. Architectural anatomical texts, playing cards, bones from Madagascar. 8 x 10 inches.
Purcell, Rosamond. (1990s). Book/Nest. Found object. 4 1/2 x 10 x 3 inches.
Purcell, Rosamond. (2006). Wait. Oscar with pedestal, chocolate in foil, tin.
Purcell, Rosamond. (mid 1990s). Book for Fishes. Book, fish skeleton. Museum of Comparative Zoology, Somerville, Massachusetts.