The life of pigeons, the over 300 species in the columbidae family, is a success story deeply tied to the success of humans in occupying the globe. Few other birds are so at ease in the urban realm, nesting with equal ease on a rocky cliff, or in the enclaves of roof tiles. Farmed by nobility for food and fertilizer, used for communications, elevated to symbols of peace, ritually freed by popes and revolutionaries alike, hunted as pests or trained for racing, few birds have had their cultural and geographical reach. Pablo Picasso, like his father before him, painted doves almost obsessively throughout his career, eventually naming his daughter Paloma (dove, in Spanish), and using the dove as a symbol for the First International Peace Conference in Paris in 1949, using a dove given to him by Henri Matisse as model, while Niemeyer’s dovecote in Brasilia brought to the political heart of Brazil’s capital city the “lowliest” of creatures, with a poetic and rebellious gesture. The Dove Totem will host doves and celebrate their relation to people, a relation which is earthly and poetic, symbolic and caloric, cultural and utilitarian.
(2019-2020 / expanded clay, cement, cork)