an installation by Eva Stenram and Tom McCarthy
In Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds, there is a scene where a character called Melanie notices, on the metal bars of the school playground, just one or two crows, then a few more, then a few more.
How to think about the current situation through the frame of Hitchcock’s The Birds? In that film, a malevolent, migratory, airborne force presents a lethal threat to human society. Critics have constantly argued about what the birds actually represent or stand for: nature, fascism, hysteria, or perhaps technology?
If you look up, you will notice artificial crows on a balcony. These serve a similar role to antibodies: in simulating the form of a bird, they keep real birds at bay. They also demarcate a boundary between inside and outside, nature and culture. They’re cheap, tacky, and plastic, and there’s little evidence that they actually work. Like in the opening seconds of the playground scene, the artists have only placed four or five crows on their balcony—but if one looks around the street’s—and city’s—other balconies, one will start to notice many, many more, silently massing.