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
  •   LIFE IS A CARNIVAL  |  August 27, 2014
    To run away with the circus — it’s a glamorous metaphor for “leaving a dull life for a colorful one.”
  •   A WORLD GONE WRONG  |  August 20, 2014
    The skies always seem threatening in Jennifer Hrabota Lesser’s paintings.
  •   OUTWARD AND INWARD  |  August 06, 2014
    A couple years or so back, Samuel Denoncour spent a year traveling alone across these United States.
  •   BEAUTY AND RUIN  |  July 30, 2014
    You’ve surely seen Providence painter Agustín Patiño’s work.
  •   EVOLVING PERSPECTIVES  |  July 23, 2014
    Somewhere around the 1950s, Florence Leif drastically changed her style.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK