A bit of contemporary art

The Birds

The other day I saw an exhibition called New Contemporaries, a showcase for the work of recent art school graduates, in the galleries at the ICA.

My favourite thing was a ten-minute film mounted on a wall in one of the main rooms, as if it were a painting. Its single static shot showed a luxurious banquet table (complete with pig’s head) placed in the middle of some grasslands, with mountains looming in the background. We watched as a couple of vultures ventured into the frame to investigate, poking and prodding tentatively – before, all of a sudden, the screen was swarming with giant birds, wings flapping, beaks squawking, chairs toppling, crockery crashing. Once the food had all gone, they gradually skulked off again.

Countering the bustling agitation of these avian subjects was the satisfying patience of the filmmaking: confident in the composition of the shot, and happy to let the camera rest in one place and wait for events to transpire.

It was called In Ictu Oculi (‘in the blink of an eye’) and you can watch the whole thing here. What was the point? What was did it all mean? No idea. But a cool little piece of video.

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