DUER I TÅRNET, 2015, video installation. Photograph: Anders Sune Berg, Tower of Christiansborg.

Duer i Tårnet

Pigeons in the Tower

Video installation by Eva Koch.

The tower room at Christiansborg Palace is a lumber room. Here stand plaster sculptures and models, some of which are so large that they can’t actually get out of the room again. When the tower was built in 1918, it was open to the sky, and for a short period the city’s pigeons also roosted here. But pigeons carry disease, so fairly early on they were barred access.

Pigeons or doves are also more than this. They are a link that connects the ages. They are the soft cooing that wakes us in the morning. They are a flock, taking off or settling in a flurry above our heads. There have always been pigeons in the city, generations of children have awoken to their soft calls, have seen the flocks gather in the square and take off, in a rustle of wings.
There are about 300 breeds of pigeon, distributed among 40 families. The pigeon is the oldest known domesticated bird. ”Pigeon” derives from the same word in Old French, which designated a young dove, while the word ”dove” comes from Old English dufe.
Pigeons live in the wild, but they also live in myths, in our collective memory, in poetry and in pictures. Now we are in the tower of Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish Parliament. In that connection one might come to think of the fact that politicians may be ”doves” seeking compromise for the sake of a greater cause.

Artist Eva Koch has taken her departure in the room’s function as a storage room, and she has symbolically opened the room to the sky and let the pigeons move back in – in all their diversity. Now they are sitting here in the tower like notes on wires along the walls doing the things pigeons tend to do. Now and again one of them flies up; we hear the beating of their wings and see them land in another part of the room. Sound is just as important in the installation as the visual element.

Eva Koch works place-specifically with video art; she uses the medium along with sound to interact with the space, to bring it to life. By liberating the pigeons from the restricting framework of the video image, she creates a living illusion: a three-dimensional picture, a strange time warp that the visitor can walk into.

Photographer: Henrik Lago
Assistant: Niels Plenge
Picture editor: Anja Farsig
Sound edito: Lea Korsgaard
Mapping: Henrik Lago
Installation: Presentationsdesign
Pigeons: Hans Ove Christiansen
Text: Mai Misfeldt
Translation: John Kendal

©2015/4 projections/8 sound channels/27 min.