Séance

By GREG COOK  |  December 9, 2009

The flock seems to be all the same bird, with smallish bodies, large fanned tails, and heads all cocked to the right. Berwick says they're cast from a preserved passenger pigeon. The glass walls of the case act as one-way mirrors: you can see in past a faint reflection of yourself, but the opposite sides reflect the tree inside.

The effect is beautiful and surreal, though on sustained looking the sameness of the birds can grow somewhat dull. What continues to resonate is Berwick's thinking. The tree resembles natural history museum dioramas or 17th-century paintings of various birds unnaturally hanging out together, which seem to be a goofy response to specimens shipped back to Europe during the age of Western imperial exploration and its prospecting for natural resources to exploit. The glowing translucent copal brings up associations of lost ancient flora and fauna preserved "trapped in amber." It's like a congress of ghosts. Not needing to be spoken is how their demise is our fault.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Entertainment, Nature and the Environment, Wildlife,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY GREG COOK
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SEEING ANEW  |  July 09, 2014
    The aim of the RISD Museum’s eight newly renovated galleries for its permanent collection of fashion and Egyptian and Asian art seems to be “quiet contemplation.”
  •   BRIGHTNESS AND DARKNESS  |  June 25, 2014
    Constellations of mirror ball clouds dangle from the ceiling on pink cords at the center of the room and slowly rotate and sparkle. You’re invited to peer though weird, lumpy crystal-telescope-things.
  •   FIGHTING THE POWER  |  June 18, 2014
    It was around 1983 when Providence artist James Montford and a friend posed as photographers to check out the Ku Klux Klan rally in Norwalk, Connecticut.
  •   'VERY PROVIDENCEY'  |  June 11, 2014
    “World building” is an idea that percolates — perhaps unconsciously — through the visionary end of the Providence art scene.
  •   HISTORY LESSON  |  June 04, 2014
    The portrait of the sculptor Nancy Elizabeth Prophet (1890-1960) that emerges from the small exhibit “Delicious Sensation of Rightness,” at the John Brown House, is fuzzy.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK