by Roula Seikaly
San Francisco-based curator A.R. Vazquez-Concepcion untangles threads of history, knowledge production, and colonialism in Bestiario/Menagerie, a vibrant, 10-person group exhibition on view at Adobe Books Back Gallery through January 28.
Bestiario or “bestiary”, roughly translated, describes a compendium of animals – imaginary and real – that was bound in book or illuminated manuscript form. Dating to second century Greece, bestiaries reflected a desire to understand the natural and spiritual worlds through collecting, categorization, and comparison.