• On the Radar Chicks on Guitar
      7th April 2010

      Chicks on Guitar

      AUTHOR Penny Brewer
      PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy of The Barbican by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

      The Barbican dedicates space to create a music making aviary for Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

      The Barbicans Curve Gallery, a space of strange proportion and constant innovation has been transformed into an aviary and is currently home to a flock of zebra finches, furnished with electric guitars and other musical components.

      Curated by French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, a musician and composer, the space draws on rhythms from daily life, cleverly juxtaposing and combining the haphazard natural and man made music.

      The small finches are encouraged, by emulated natural habitat and day light, to go about their routine activities, flying around in the large space, and perching on or feeding from the various pieces of equipment, creating a captivating and live soundscape on the guitars, consequential of their normal movements, preening, strutting, pecking, contrasting with their noisy chirps and tweets.

      Here's a little teaser, but I assure you it's worth visiting yourself.


      © Extracts from Ariane Michel's film, Les Oiseaux de Céleste. Copyright Galerie Xippas, Ariane Michel and Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, 2008

      Fully interactive in that the space is shared with the birds and their instruments, the mumblings of the audience seems to add further still to the organically generated sounds and become themselves part of the instillation. The zebra finch, a sociable bird but one that wouldn't normally bond so well with humans are now incredibly tame, one man had 4 on his foot playing with his shoe laces. I've been meaning to go and see this since it opened at the end of February but am now glad I waited, the birds friendliness added to the interactive experience, I imagine they would have at first been suspicious of those gazing at them and surprised by the noise their perches made.

      The exhibition lasts until 23rd May. Click here to visit the Barbicans website.
    • Love. Want. Need. Chanel Sunglasses
      7th April 2010

      Chanel Sunglasses

      AUTHOR The Milk Maid

      The Barbican dedicates space to create a music making aviary for Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

      Coco Chanel loved ribbons and so do I!

      In a witty interpretation of the way she wore them, these Chanel sunglasses are decorated by wire ribbon; circling the frames and playfully snaking around the lenses, tying in a bow at the arm hinges.

      Karl Largefeld constantly references the character and charm of Chanel and this small nod to her innovative style is yet another immaculate touch.

      These delicate yet statement glasses will certainly be finding their way into my beach bag!

      Click here for the Chanel website.