ORNITHOLOGY SHADOWS (PERFORMANCES) 1996

language of art
i.c.w. Michael Pestel (USA)
Apollohuis, Eindhoven
publication: CD + booklet + folder

Paul Panhuysen’s (the owner) studio is situated on the floor above the gallery and contains a big bird house with song birds: The Kanary Grand Band. Birdsong carries softly through the ceiling. When the performance starts in the gallery there is an electronic connection in images and audio with the bird house upstairs. Ten members of a choir whisper bird proverbs and write them down with chalk on slates, causing a ticking and screeching sound. Hans Kingma counts the names of extinct species called by Jeroen. Jeroen calligraphs tiny shadows/birds in flight profiles, in a book filled with music paper.
Kevin Shey and Michael Pestel produce sounds to which the KGB responds attentively, almost competitively.
After the performance the music stand remains in place, with the scores and cleanly-wiped slates still on it. The four books, filled with shadows during the four performances, are exhibited. On the drawing table a monitor replays the performance over and over: a hand drawing shadows of birds on music paper.

Ornithology Shadows Avifauna
Ornithology Shadows Avifauna Ornithology Shadows Avifauna Ornithology Shadows Avifauna

language of culture
i.c.w. Michael Pestel (USA)
Avifauna, Alphen a/d Rijn
publication: CD + booklet + folder

The people attending the performance are taken on a tour through the aviary. While The people attending the performance are taken on a tour through the aviary. While visiting the kitchen, a room, ‘?¦ texts and fragments of stories exploring the special relationships between people and birds are read out loud. In one of the bird-rooms the ‘exhibited’ birds start a duel or duet with Michael Pestel on wind instruments and Kevin Shey on percussion. Hans Kingma writes proverbs ‘aloud’ on the crossbeams of the room. Van Westen calls out the names of extinct species and paints a shadow for each of them.
After the performance a monitor placed in the room continually repeats the painting of the shadows which took place during the performance. Speakers on the cages produce bird proverbs in five colonial languages.

Ornithology Shadows Leeuwarden
Ornithology Shadows Leeuwarden Ornithology Shadows Leeuwarden

language of science
i.c.w. Michael Pestel (USA)
Friesian Museum for Natural History, Leeuwarden
publication: CD + booklet + folder

A ring hangs in the inner court, covered with Dutch words containing ‘vogel’ (=bird). During the performance sounds of local birds, together with Michael Pestels wind instruments and Kevin Sheys percussion, echo the song of extinct birds. Jeroen van Westen paints a flying shape in a big book, one for each name that Hans Kingma – looking through binoculars – reads aloud from the gutter around the court. Several pairs of binoculars have been placed at strategic points throughout the museum so that visitors can personally read the names painted on the gutter. After the performance a monitor placed in the canteen continuously repeats the painting of the shadows during the performance.

Ornithology Shadows Weerribben
Ornithology Shadows Weerribben Ornithology Shadows Weerribben Ornithology Shadows Weerribben Ornithology Shadows Weerribben Ornithology Shadows Weerribben

language of nature
i.c.w. Michael Pestel (USA)
National Park De Weerribben, Ossenzijl
publication: CD + booklet + folder

A circle is mowed in the reed, around a dent in a boardwalk. From the dent one part of the boardwalk is directed towards the rising of the sun, the other towards the setting of the midsummer sun. Names of the locally endangered bird species are engraved in the boards.
During the performance the sounds of local birds, together with Michael Pestels wind instruments and Kevin Sheys percussion, combine to form an echo of the extinct bird species whilst Jeroen van Westen reads their names aloud. As he does so he paints a flying shape in a big book, like shadows of the extinct species present in the air above the circle. Hans Kingma walks up and down the boardwalk reading, now and then declaiming a proverb concerning birds. After the performance a monitor placed in a workers trailer continually repeats the painting of the shadows during the performance.