Les perruches de Maisons-Alfort.

National commission “Regards du Grand Paris”, by Ateliers Médicis and the CNAP
5 prints on silk, 130x185cm, silk printing
Contact print from a 4x5’’negative
38 Instax in a 80x120cm frame
107 feathers in 80x120cm frame


Imported mid 20s century in France to decorate homes with their exotic features, some 30 rose-ringed parakeets escaped from Orly airport in 1974. Since then, they breeded and invaded the parisian sky. While some say they are an inviding species that should be stopped, researchers found out they are not threatening to the parisian urban ecosystem and that they are just like any other big bird.

A parallel could be drawn between these birds and post-colonial trajectories : this species, enjoyed precisely for its exoticism, was loved when in cages, and seen as a threat when freed. Topakian studied the vocabulary around the descriptions of the bird and realized it matches a racist vocabulary : each print has a sentence silk-printed on it, found on Internet, in which a disturbing ambivalence makes it uneasy for the viewer to understand if we are talking about birds or humans.

While the human territory is based on borders and property, nature finds no interest in these human conceptions. Couldn’t we learn from looking up the sky and watching the birds?

You can also purchase a 25 copies limited edition of 3 silk scarves here https://rebeccatopakian.bigcartel.com/

︎︎︎Previous    Index    Next︎