French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot is a trained musician and composer and his art work draws inspiration from the daily rhythms of life, resulting in some unexpected ways to produce sound.
Céleste’s walk-through aviary installation at London’s Barbican Art Gallery in early to mid 2010 saw a flock of zebra finches, electric guitars and other instruments attracting much attention with one video of the exhibit becoming a viral YouTube hit with over 600,000 views in 4 weeks!
As the birds go about their routine activities, perching on and feeding from the guitars, they create a captivating, live soundscape. Guitarist Magazine quipped “It turns out these birds can rock – one even goes all Jimmy Page with a twig”.
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s installation is an interesting and imaginative piece of live art that guarentees a unique performance every time. My only recommendation, if the installation were to be reinstalled, would be to tune the guitars to an ear friendly open tuning, say, DADGAD to allow the music created to be a little more harmonious.
This exhibit ran between 27th February – 23rd May 2010.