For The Birds was a one-off event created by James Ó hAodha for Tonight, You Can Call Me Trish, curated by RGKSKSRG. An experiment in parallel habitation, this intervention took place over the course of a single day and featured a Macaw, a Cockatoo, and an African Grey Parrot. Temporarily introduced into the transient ecology of the space, this fleeting encounter was punctuated by a series of guided tours – at once articulating, and pecking away at, the linguistic infrastructure of the exhibition. The tours were all delivered in a language unfamiliar to the majority of visitors, one assumed by the artist exclusively for this event.
As part of the exhibition, Tonight, you can call me Trish, James Ó hAodha was commissioned to devise an encounter with a specific community of interest. His work For the Birds consisted of a series of idiosyncratic exhibition tours, which took place in the gallery on the final day of Trish. Teasing out notions of what constitutes ‘audience’ and ‘exhibition’, the artist plays with the presence of three hand-picked exotic birds - a Macaw, a Cockatoo, and an African Grey Parrot. The birds simultaneously occupy the gallery both as viewer and live performer, activating, intervening and, in moments, becoming complicit with the language of display, aesthetics, and the mediation of contemporary visual art.
For The Birds is one of the artworks comprising the group exhibition Tonight, you can call me Trish, curated by RGKSKSRG at The LAB Gallery, which ran from 6 February to 22 March 2014. The exhibition featured work by Oliver Laric (AT), Rachel Maclean (UK), Brenna Murphy (US), Pilvi Takala (FI), and Alan Butler (IE), with overall scenographic design by Eilis McDonald (IE) and Mark Durkan (IE), and an ephemeral event by Mary-Jo Gilligan (IE).