An empty gallery space, a bird and a cleaner - three characters who are interlinked in a reflection on belonging, marking territory and place making.
The removal and control of pigeons is a prominent example of keeping cities and society clean. Pigeon spikes and netting resemble hostile architecture for humans. A pigeon sitting in one place without moving gives the impression of a bird claiming its space.
The relationship between the bird and the human goes through stages of alienation, fear, disgust. Following repeated failure to remove the bird, the cleaner arrives at acceptance of his inability to exercise total control over the situation. The sisyphean loop emphasises the human desire and inevitable failure to organise and exercise control over its environment.
There are ways in which the cleaner and the bird are one and the same - they are not usual visitors to a gallery space during ordinary opening hours - they are both the alien, interlinked in the otherness as companion species facing the rules and regulations in place.
The sequence was shot in a single take in an empty gallery space using the tools of stage magic to create the illusion of an impossible loop. Doves are a classic theme in magic: an elegantly dressed magician produces living white doves, one after another, from thin air. In this sequence, a dirty pigeon is removed, over and over again, mirroring the absurdity of this classic magic act.
Runtime: 11 Minutes
Shot at D21 Kunstraum Leipzig, www.d21-leipzig.de
Exhibited at RCA London, 2021