CATHERINE CLOVER  
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Reading The Birds (2014)

curated by Camilla Hannan for Trainspotters INC as part of MoreArt Moreland City Council Public Art Show Melbourne.

A group of 10 artists will perform along the Enfield Bike Path in Brunswick, Melbourne on 31 October 2014. With Nigel Brown, Catherine Clover, Martine Corompt, Elliot Howard, Alice Hui-Sheng Chang, Isobel Knowles, John Jacobs, Bruce Mowson, Zoe Scoglio and Van Sowerwine.

This performance was a public reading of The Birds the original short story by Daphne du Maurier. The reading took place at dusk under a tree in Brunswick along the Upfield Bike Path, in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, where many wild urban birds settle noisily for the night. The performance took place on 31 October, Hallowe’en, an appropriate evening for a revenge of nature thriller to be heard both by humans and birds. While dated in writing style and tone, the story powerfully retains its nightmarish quality especially as the environmental crisis that the birds’ actions symbolize remains highly pertinent today.

The birds and I share the noisy urban setting as our voices overlap, mingle and sometimes disappear completely, drowned out by the trains and traffic. This vocal mix, where it is a constant struggle to be heard, is a keen part of the performance that acknowledges the ambiguous relationship we tend to have with common wild city birds.
 
       
    Map of event downloadable here  
    More info here  
       
    Audio excerpt from Reading The Birds recorded by Martin Kay, Melbourne (2014)        Excerpt duration 1’46”  
     
   

 

 
       
     
    smashing their heads against the walls  
       
     
    matted their feathers  
       
     
    Photo Annalea Beattie  
       
     
    Photo Annalea Beattie  
       
     
    Photo Annalea Beattie  
       
     
    Photo Annalea Beattie  
       
     
    Photo Annalea Beattie  
       
     
    Photo Annalea Beattie  
       
     
    Photo Annalea Beattie  
       
     
    Photo Annalea Beattie  
       
     
       
       
     
    to struggle in darkness with a flock of birds  
       
     
    it was as though they waited  
       
     
       
       
   
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Corvus corvix, Corvus corvix, Corvus corvix, Corvus albicollis,