new-york

Sara Magenheimer, Best Is Man’s Breath Quality, 2017, aquarium, Glo-Fish, vanity mirror, video camera, tripod, two-channel HD video projection (color, sound, 15 minutes 30 seconds). Installation view. Photo: Jason Mandella.

Sara Magenheimer

The Kitchen

Sara Magenheimer, Best Is Man’s Breath Quality, 2017, aquarium, Glo-Fish, vanity mirror, video camera, tripod, two-channel HD video projection (color, sound, 15 minutes 30 seconds). Installation view. Photo: Jason Mandella.

Louis Agassiz, 1862: “I have never felt more deeply the imperfection of our knowledge of some of the most remarkable types of the animal kingdom than in attempting to describe the beautiful representative of the genus Cyanea found along the Atlantic coast of North America. I can truly say that I have fully shared the surprise of casual observers in noticing this gigantic radiate stranded upon our beaches, and wondered what may be the meaning of all the different parts hanging from the lower surface of the large gelatinous disk.” Claude Monet, 1924: “It took me time to understand my water lilies.” Ani DiFranco, 1998: “They say goldfish have no memory / I guess their lives are much like mine / And the little plastic castle / Is a surprise every time.”

I present these statements, by a scientist, a painter, and a songwriter, respectively, in part because their subject matter—jellyfish,

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