Artists Draw Parallels Between the Behaviour of Pigeons and People in Decadent Pigeons (Photos)


Photo credit: Lisa Klappe

Throughout history, they have served in the military, sent love letters or have been dished out as dinner. Nowadays, few citizens appreciate them and most call them "rats with wings" while their real name is "Colomba Livia". Some cities, like Hollywood, put them on birth control and in others they take the metro! We're talking about pigeons, an animal with which humans have changed relationship over the years, and with which most urban dwellers share their environment. But often not in a nice way; pigeons have become a plague in many cities, due to the disappearance of their natural predators, such as falcons, who find it difficult to hunt amongst tall buildings. Nevertheless, some citizens don't seem to mind them and even feed the birds, an act that is not helping to control their fast reproducing. Photographer Lisa Klappe and special artist Joachim van den Hurk decided to tackle the issue and created an exhibition called 'Decadent Pigeons'.
Photo credit: Lisa Klappe

Klappe and Van den Hunk explain that "the appreciation of this society of species depends on taste, affection for this type of bird and also our mental state. The reversed commensalism has created a perverse relationship with the animal in question". For them, this phenomenon represents decadence and fear, which is what we feel when we see the work of the two artists, who want society to take a good look at its self. Both believe to detect decay, boredom and slackness in many people, and they ask themselves: "Is that blatant decadence the price we have to pay for prosperity and the so-called individual freedom in which we live?"


Photo credit: Lisa Klappe

Believe it or not, Klappe and Van der Hunk see parallels between the behaviour of pigeons and people, and they drew the not very roseate conclusion that if we continue this way, we will end up being exactly as those birds; grey shadows, still further removed from out nature, dismally bored and scandalously discontented.


Photo credit: Lisa Klappe

We have two live pigeons who cast beautiful shadows on the wall, hilarious portraits of people who really look like pigeons, funny (and not so funny) videos involving pigeons (check out this one about Peace Day Celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan) and an amazing projection of a bird rotating its head to look at you. The whole show is a mix of black humour, grubbiness, bluntness and a touch of perversity, and very direct. The question of how pigeons and humans should coexists remains.

Decadent Pigeons opened last week at Gallery Fort Pienc in Barcelona, Spain, and is on show until the end of September. After that, Decadent Pigeons will under proviso move to the former textile factory De Ploeg near Eindhoven, The Netherlands for a special exposition during Eindhoven's Dutch Design Week. ::Decadent Pigeons
More about pigeons:
The Fascinating Life and Times of the Humble Pigeon
Hollywood Pigeons to be Put on Birth Control
The Future of Transit: Everyone Gets A Lift, Even Pigeons

Tags: Animals | Artists | Exhibits | Photography | Urban Life