Birds sitting on guitars – is it art?

Just dropped in to an exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London. A load of zebra finches flying around in a room, with electric guitars and cymbals to land on. The electric guitars are plugged in, so you get a whole load of random twangs as the birds take off, land and hop up the strings – a bit like a really bad band practicing.

The upturned cymbals are filled with bird seed, and water – so the birds don’t go hungry. There’s sand on the floor and some plants, and the birds have got their beaks on some strands they are trying to craft into a nest on top of the Fire Exit light on the wall.

And bemused humans wander around watching the birds, wondering. I don’t know what anyone else was wondering, but I thought “It’s certainly strange – but is it art?”

You won’t be surprised to learn this is a work by a Frenchman – Celeste Boursier-Mougenot.

Apparently I was very lucky – there’s normally a two hour queue of people waiting to get in and see this. I wouldn’t recommend the wait.

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