daneyal mahmood
Jul 14, 2015 6:16PM

A hybrid bird person amid flocks of pigeons is featured in Do I go Flying Without Wings and Feathers?. We find ourselves in the air. The breath of the bird lady appears in space in the middle of the courageous circling pigeon flocks. The viewer’s eye is taken by a whirlpool of flittering wings and exhilarating freedom. The birds fly higher and higher towards the end of the sky, and we hear the chant of the bird lady who wants to fly like the birds.
Pigeon flying is an age-old activity. Italian immigrants brought it to New York in the 1860’s, and for close to 150 years it has been passed from rooftop to rooftop evolving into a game played from the pigeon coop directed by the men who keep the pigeons (known as the “generals”). The Brooklyn Pigeon Wars, as they call it, is an aerial social casino. To play, a coop owner releases his pigeons, letting them fly freely in a flock over Brooklyn, meeting up with similar flocks released by other owners. At a certain point the flocks turn homeward, arriving lesser or greater in number than they started out. A coop owner might lose half his flock in one night, while others gain as many. This is how birds are lost and won.
Do I go Flying Without Wings and Feathers? is a poetic metaphor about power, dependence and freedom, which takes place on New York’s rooftops in front of a breath taking evening sky.

- Robert Elmes 


daneyal mahmood