"Ik maak een vogel", translation

Translation of audio-texts “Ik maak een vogel” (“I Make a Bird”)


Grey Bird
I make a bird. A grey bird.
A voice in me says: ”You cannot make a bird. Birds are living creatures, they are free, they can do a lot more than you. Birds can fly.”
OK. I make an image of a bird.
I take feathers of pigeons: grey, brownish, mudcolored, dirty pink.
I glue the feathers one by one. The form gets thicker and entirely closed. It is not beautiful. I am afraid of beautiful images.
I think of the pigeons of the city; they are everywhere yet inconspicuous, grey like the pavement of the street,
like concrete.
I caress my bird out of compassion for its worn-out ugliness and also because even if the feathers are grey and brown they still have a soft, silky gleam. But unexpectedly I get another impulse: I want to smash its rounded, thickly covered head, break it open. I cannot stand its faceless anonimity, its sadness. I get a strange, uneasy feeling when I look at it.
Are all these feelings I am aware of during my work present in the image?
Can anyone besides me ever see what I mean?



White bird
I make a bird, a white bird.
I take white goose feathers. They are large,soft and pure. I glue one feather after the other. I enjoy the work, the simplicity and gentleness of this repetitive and slow act. It takes a couple of days before itʼs done.
I am in love with my white bird. I want to caress it, hold it, touch it with my lips, make it a part of my body. My bird is dawn, mist, haze, a bride, innocence, a young girl who thinks: “Will anyone ever take me? Will anyone ever love me?”
My bird has to become thicker. I can see that now. It is too fragile, too slender, too vulnerable. Everything I make is too vulnerable, too thin. Why am I myself so fragile, so breakable?
I look for new feathers.The form gets thicker. I look and I glue. It is not an innocent, young girl any more. It is a fancy, rich lady in an expensive furcoat.
Do I want my bird to look like a rich lady?
Do I still like it?
Must I like my work?



Black Bird
I make a bird, a black bird.
I look for black feathers everywhere: in the city, in the park, in the woods. I didnʼt know black feathers were so hard to find. I see crows and magpies everywhere.
I find but a few.
I must do it differently.
I take feathers of pigeons and I cut off the small black tip of each feather. I have hundreds of pieces in front of me. I start glueing them one by one. With all the tiny, rounded, black feathers glued in layers my bird looks like a priest in his black skirts.
It is a gloomy image but also beautiful with the deep glow of the black feathers: repulsive and attractive at the same time.
My sculpture is ready.
I thought of death. I wanted to make death: dark, unfathomable, terrifying,mysterious. And there again this voice that tells me: “You cannot make death. You donʼt even know what death is.”
Thatʼs true. All this can be is an idea of an idea, that death is dark. Black.
Can I ever get to the essence of anything?
Can a work of art ever be more than an idea of an idea?