The Purification of Fagus sylvatica var pendula. Paul Etienne Lincoln. Granary Books & Coracle. 2005.

The Purification of Fagus sylvatica var pendula.

Granary Books & Coracle, 2005. Item #GB_130LTD

8 3/4 x 10 in., 48 pp., cloth over boards with signed photograph.

“Situated at the perimeter of Weeping Beech Tree Park in Queens, New York, was a small pavilion looking on to a stump of the oldest weeping beech in America. In 1847 Samuel Bowne Parsons, a Quaker and a nurseryman, purchased a shoot of weeping beech, Fagus sylvatica var pendula, in Belgium, while traveling in search of unusual plants. On his return to the United States he planted the shoot at the site of the stump, then part of Parson’s nurseries. Every weeping beech in America is descended from this one tree. Regrettably, the stump is all that remains, as shortly after this venerable tree’s 150th anniversary in 1997 it died and was cut down. The tree had, however spawned seven progeny, which still grow in a circle around the original beech.”
–Paul Etienne Lincoln, from the beginning of The Purification of Fagus sylvatica var pendula

Comprised of text, diagrams, and 50 black and white photographs, The Purification records the series of experiments and performance which detail the afterlife of a specimen of local vegetation. It is emblematic of Lincoln’s inquiry into the origin and production of memory and our ethereal relationship to that intangible evidence of our consciousness. In this pursuit, Lincoln has employed diverse forms and themes, ranging from examination of historical figures to detailing anything from New York City infrastructure to “household” machines that dispense gin-and-tonics (mixed at varying strengths).

Over the past two decades, Lincoln has committed himself to creating complex installations, recordings and documentation on a wide range of subject matter. The Purification follows his investigation of the weeping beech as a way of detailing the process of examination and history-writing, which is ever shifting and defining the world around us.

Casebound in Avon midnight blue cloth, with dark blue blocking, printed on coated stock for the images and Snowden Cartridge for the text. This is from an edition of 600 numbered copies, of which the first 40 are hors commerce, and 60 copies are accompanied by a signed laser-printed photograph by Lincoln. This is no. 50 of 60 special copies. Out-of-print. As new.


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