Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dead Sparrows in Sweaters

Taxidermy Sparrows with Knitted Sweaters by Annette Messager
source of image Moma

"The use of "real" animals and the act of knitting make a close connection
with real life and ordinary events and undermine the idea of art
as something removed from everyday experience. "
Remember when I took this photo of a dead squirrel carefully placed on a sofa on
the side of the road, her birds have the same meaning for me.

I was reading about Annette Messager who uses photography, drawing, knitting, embroidery, text and objects in her art to challenge fixed ideas of art and "culturally assigned roles of women" and thinking WOW, this is a woman after my own heart.

Talking about embroidery and sewing.
I am still sewing wig hair onto my artpiece.

What I think of the actual piece I don't know. I am not loving it visually  but I do like the concept and I'm enjoying the process even though it's tedious.


shana goetsch said...

i worry about the animals....where did she get the birds? are they 'found' dead, i wonder? i can't really jive with this concept if she killed and then stuffed them herself. i suppose i could look it up...

JafaBrit's Art said...

I totally respect your concern, I don't support the killing of animals for art. My understanding is they were taxidermy birds (and I am presuming they were found and taken to the taxidermist or bought from the taxidermist). shana, if you find out, let me know. I don't have a problem with taxidermy animals that were found dead being used.

Top Bird @ Wee Birdy said...

I can appreciate the pathos and humour in this piece. Being the bird-mad chick that I am, is it bad that I kinda giggled at the absurdity of dead sparrows in sweaters? V. provocative, no?

JafaBrit's Art said...

I agree with shana, I would hate to think the birds were killed to make an artistic statement, BUT I agree about the pathos birdy. For me it evokes a compassion for this common little bird that so many ignore or regard as a major pest.
did you know the Chinese during the great leap forward had a "kill the sparrow" campaign between 58 and 62. I just learned that.

Undaunted said...

Hmm.. somehow they seem a bit creepy to me. I don't know why. I mean, obviously they are dead birds, but I saw a stuffed tiger at the National History Museum and that didn't bother me, I thought it was beautiful. The same thought crossed my mind though - I hope they didn't kill the poor thing just to put it on display.

Maybe it's because the birds still look dead?

shana goetsch said...

well, i looked and i cannot find an answer to that...however, i did find that she had learned how to do i believe she may have done these herself.
the shining light here is that PETA is not up in arms against her anywhere that i can see. that is really the true test with animals, imo.

JafaBrit's Art said...

eeeeeew, I would not want to do taxidermy yuk! I don't think it would have been hard for her to find sparrows and other so called "pest' animals for taxidermy. They are the target for pest control in many cities and finding a supply would be easy. She did those birds in 1970-71 before peta were formed in 1980.

thanks for looking shana and the info.