Not on view
Wood, chicken wire, polystyrene, cement, acrylic, taxidermically preserved silver-laced Wyandotte hen and Black Minorca rooster with attached label and mount, USPS Priority Mail cardboard box, and Sharp UX-B20 Fax machine cardboard box
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Warren and Allison Kanders
Rights and reproductions
©️ Rachel Harrison. Courtesy of Rachel Harrison and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York
Claude Lévi-Strauss is one of nine sculptures that Rachel Harrison exhibited in 2007 alongside fifty-seven portraits dealing with the theme of representing the human subject. Harrison titled each sculpture after a famous man (ranging from historical figures such as John Locke and Amerigo Vespucci to contemporary celebrities like Johnny Depp and Tiger Woods). The exhibition was titled If I Did It after a book by O. J. Simpson, in which he offers a "hypothetical" description of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. In the two-part Claude Lévi-Strauss—named for the renowned French anthropologist and ethnologist—Harrison stacked a pair of rectangular orange-red and green bases on U.S. postal and fax machine boxes; on top of the bases, a stuffed hen and rooster face each other. Through this seemingly incongruous combination of formal and symbolic elements, Harrison both alludes to the Structuralist theories of her work’s namesake and composes anthropomorphic forms that suggest properties of the standing body, such as uprightness and balance.