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What We're Reading: Aurel Schmidt

Tired of reading the same recommended books from the usual sources? Just think of our weekly What We’re Reading column as your non-committal book club with FADER and some of your favorite bands and artists. For this installment, artist Aurel Schmidt shares excerpts from readings that inspired her latest exhibition ‘FRUITS’ on view at 200 Stanton st..

Frankenstein
Mary Shelley, 1818

“I ought to be thy Adam; but I am rather the fallen angel

Against Nature / À rebours
J.K. Huysmans, 1884

"Yes, his object had been achieved: not one of them looked real; it was as if cloth, paper, porcelain, and metal had been lent by man to Nature to enable her to create these monstrosities. Where she had not found it possible to imitate the work of human hands, she had been reduced to copying the membranes of animals' organs, to borrowing the vivid tints of their rotting flesh, the hideous splendours of their gangrened skin. It is true that most of the time Nature is incapable of producing such depraved, unhealthy species alone and unaided. Stubborn, muddle-headed and narrow-minded though she is, she has at last submitted..."

Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Friedrich Nietzsche, 1883 - 1885

"I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him? All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman--a rope over an abyss.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture and a going under."

Daedalus: Science and the Future
Essay from Geneticist J.B.S. Haldane 1923

"The chemical or physical inventor is always a Prometheus. There is no great invention, from fire to flying, which has not been hailed as an insult to some god. But if every physical and chemical invention is a blasphemy, every biological invention is a perversion. There is hardly one which, on first being brought to the notice of an observer from any nation which had not previously heard of their existence, would not appear to him as indecent and unnatural."

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What We're Reading: Aurel Schmidt