The Nests Collectors Archive, 2013
My works are born of the feeling that reality consists of a pretty aimless chain of coincidences and absurd situations, in which it is easy to lose your way. Ideas for work spring from scepticism of the view that success and happiness can be manufactured, and from concern about the opportunism with which human beings and the natural world are exploited and exhausted.
The project Bird Needs Shelter, which was largely created during my work period in Paris in 2010/2011, is concerned with the duplicitous character of man’s dealings with nature. The structure of the project is defined by four imaginary personages, each of whom stands for a certain mentality: the gastronome, the scientist,
the hunter and the artist. In this four-part series, birds and our relationship with them form the central subject. The series shows how man, through ‘abuse of power’, causes the extinction of certain species, how birds are hunted, how they should be properly served and eaten. And how they are systematically arranged in endless lists of names, according to class, order, genus and family. Identification followed by ordination, classification and taxonomy. Observation by registration, tables, and diagrams −nature is best ‘read’ in numbers−. Down through the ages, birds are the animal most often observed, collected, imitated, and consumed.
To realise this work I gained access to the depots and libraries of two departments of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturellein Paris, to take photographs of their collections: the Galeries de Paléontologie et d'Anatomie Comparée −with its historic collection of bird skeletons and preserved remains− and the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution −which holds a rare collection of extinct and endangered bird species, along with a historic collection of eggs−.
The Nests Collectors Archive is part of Bird Needs Shelter − the scientist.