Birds parade at the Walker Art Center


Sculptor Natalie Djurberg has produced a gigantic and uncomfortably human flock of birds.

Photo courtesy Walker Art Center

I imagine if Alfred Hitchcock were still alive, he and Natalie Djurberg would get along quite well.

Djurberg has just installed “The Parade” at the Walker Art Center, which consists of an uncomfortably human looking flock of 83 birds. I’ll let MPR’s Euan Kerr describe it for you:

Atmospheric music fills the room, interspersed with what might be nature sounds. The birds are so brightly colored, it’s overwhelming at first. Each is intricately textured, and ripe for interpretation.

“When I was starting doing the sculptures, the more I looked at birds, and the more I looked at their behavior, some of their behavior so resembled human behavior and emotions,” she says.

Some of the birds strut with pride, others bicker and fight. There are so many of them that Walker curator Eric Crosby finds them kind of intimidating.

“I mean the idea of the flock as a social group is that it has its own kind of consciousness, right?” he says. “One that is not about the individuals own ideas but about a collective that may bully and pester individuals, that may do violence to others. I think that’s a theme that’s running through the whole exhibition.”

But remember these are sculptures, built from scraps of cloth and wire, and splashed with the paint still engrained in Natalie Djurberg’s fingernails.

The installation includes not just sculpture, but some rather gorey animated films as well, with music composed by Hans Berg. You can find out more about the exhibition by clicking on the audio link below: