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BIRD ON A STRING: AGAINST THE WIND(OW) is an immersive multi-modal system of wind and suspension— a delicately balanced trap. The installation draws into relationship: precariously suspended domestic architectural portals; birds flying against the wind; fans confrontationally circulating wind at three registers of height; personal anecdote of lost childhood pet birds and their unexpected hand-caught replacements; and the viewer who risks entering the contraption. BIRD ON A STRING: AGAINST THE WIND(OW) re-imagines the emotional, cognitive, and political oppositional forces that capture and ensnare the spirit of human vulnerability with the aspiration to release it— while paradoxically acknowledging that opening up can sometimes drop the guillotine.

“When I was eight
My grandfather
Replaced our lost birds.

Before our family gathering
on Christmas Eve
My grandfather 
Placed our caged birds outside. 
When it was time to return them inside
My brother and I found
The door was open,
the cages empty.
We were devastated.
My grandfather said nothing
denying any association with 
our lost birds.

At dawn on New Year’s 
My grandfather woke us
And led us into the garage.

Inside we found
Two freshly caught
sidewalk birds
Their feet tied with string
to the garage door tracks.

We opened the door
Released their feet
Held them in our hands
Then let them free.

Fluttering wings
Fleeing to the first morning light.
These weren’t our lost birds.
Not our garage-caged birds
Not our caged birds
Not our birds.

None were our birds.”

BIRD ON A STRING: AGAINST THE WIND(OW), 2019, Suspended garage door, window guillotine, fans, audio, and video projection, Dimensions variable.

 

Photo and video documentation by Alex Taylor