Fri. 6 - Mon. 16 July
Josef Bernhardt
House of Birds

supported by Austrian Embassy/ Cultural Forum

Austrian artist Josef Bernhardt uses photography, video and performance, to highlight the fragile border between life and death. His photographic work consists of records of bird's habits and the bodies of deceased birds, and portraits that utilize multiple exposures to integrate the artist and dead animals. Bernhardt's documentary video work consists of a trip to Kyoto with the dead body of a crow, and a record of the funeral that he performed. Other works consist of a performance where the artist placed bird feeders in various locations around a city, and an installation incorporating a frottage of a dead bird.
Bernhardt's work reveals how the life and death of humans and animals has become distanced in "urban nature". He questions what we perceive from daily yet unusual scenes and what we unconsciously close our eyes to.
"House of Birds" is part of a series of installations, the first one was created in Csongrad, Hungary in 2001. There, Bernhardt discovered a building that had previously been used for military purposes and dedicated it to the birds.
For this exhibition in Tokyo - House of Birds lll, Bernhardt has chosen a renovated art space, a wooden clay storehouse that has survived for 140 years. He considers this serene space to be a paradise for the deceased birds.