I embarked on the first try for Pigeon Performance (working title), last weekend. The outcome was not what I wanted, expected, but it was a valuable experiment with many positive lessons.

The idea came from a drawing that I have seen during my childhood in a literature text book. The drawing depicts St Francis of Assisi talking to the birds by Janos Kass, a Hungarian graphic artist For some reason this image stayed with me through my life.

I imagined  that if I create a helmet out of food items (bread) the birds will come and use me as a feeding post. I made the contraption and headed to the park to create a connection with my fellow city dwellers through non verbal language. The performance took place in Pymmes Park, Edmonton.

I had a large group of birds joining me and after a while they were comfortable enough to eat from my shoes and be close to me, but none of them went for my head, I don’t thing they registered the device as food. After about 45 minutes of standing completely motionless, I have decided to offer them the hat on the floor so they can interact with it and disperse any fears they had of this new, strange object.

The outcome of the performance was not as intended but I enjoyed every minute of it, as it was a meditative experience, focusing only on my own stillness and the sounds of the birds around me. I will continue to experiment in order to create art for non-human animals and gain a better understanding towards the inhabitants of this city.

Monika Tobel