From Dawn to Dusk: The Bird of Paradise

Olaf Nicolai
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In 2019, artist Olaf Nicolai initiated an enactment of the Walter Marchetti piece The Bird of Paradise. Hunting in the City of 1977. For one day, the performer Miles Sjögren played music with an orchestra of bird whistles according to the textual instructions of Marchetti in the public urban space in Dresden. He recorded the audio performance with a tape recorder and the piece was then played in the The Whole Life: Archives and Reality exhibition.

‘Leave your home with a cool head and carrying a briefcase full of birdcalls of the kind used by hunters, as well as a portable tape recorder slung across your back on a carrying strap. You will use it at the proper time to play a tape, which has also been placed in the briefcase. Once outside you begin your performance of The Hunt by crossing over to the sidewalk on a far side of the street with respect to the building you have just left. After observing this building for several minutes you will then begin to walk.’

Excerpt from Walter Marchetti’s instructions for The Bird of Paradise. Hunting in the City.

Connected Material

A conversation on compulsive archiving in relation to a private archive of press photography on Liberia.

Schaber’s contribution revisits her 2004 work culture is our business and considers the complex issues around these three agencies. At stake in these differences are how the image’s story should be told, and how this telling is embedded in the viewing and understanding of history.

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These images were taken in the frame of The Whole Life Academy. Laura Fiorio accompanied the project as a photographer from the beginning in 2019 and developed her own approach of documenting archival sites and methods.

Interrogating the archive of “green” extractivism is not just about uncovering access to knowledge, legal knowledge, for example, that can help expose (ecological and economic) crime and that can thus be a starting point for empowering true alternatives and thus alternative ways of living and organizing economic processes. It is also about creating a resonant space for shared thinking and reflection.

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CLEPTOCRAZIA is an art and science festival curated by Valeria D’Ambrosio at Villa Romana in Florence. The project aims to disseminate knowledge on the roots of the environmental crisis through a cycle of lectures, screenings and performances with the contribution of international artists and scientists.