A Complete History of Pop Music Referring to Ornithology
Harmony Cheyenne Molina
Galerie Europa

We are proud to present a new performance dealing with the role played by birds in pop music by the Chilean artist Harmony Cheyenne Molina, who lives and works in Berlin and New York.
This piece - as well as a expansive work in process involving collected birdsongs from the capitals of Europe, to be united as a symphony played on cassette players - was inspired by a moment of near-religious enlightenment that the artist experienced while listening to a recital of Des Canyons aux Étoiles by Olivier Messiaen. The French composer was fascinated by birdsong, and considered himself as much an ornithologist as a composer. He notated bird songs worldwide and incorporated birdsong transcriptions into most of his music.
A pairing of low-cost, vernacular media and camp style with highly emotional and poetic content is characteristic of Molina's work. The set-up of this performance consists of two lovebirds in a glass case located in the subway station, which is otherwise utilized as an advertising showcase for a clothing store. The artist holds a lecture on birds followed by a karaoke performance of a selection of pop songs referring to birds, rendered with passion. The lovebirds are in a cage, its door opened, inside a glass box, reminiscent of a situation inside a pet shop; the artist is singing  songs accompanied by a low-fi boombox, recalling the site-specific situation of street performers/beggars in subway stations. In shifting the location (pet store to subway station) and the intention (making money to making art) of certain situations and actions Molina's performance uses decontextualization to play with modes of presentation and representation. The irony of the romantic and poetic role birds play within musical and literary symbolism, (hope, freedom, beauty, peace) contrasted with their general actual function (livestock, pests, caged pets) is heightened by the acoustic presence of the lovebirds chirping on the recordings made of the songs Molina sings.

The birds are uncaged, the performer is staged.


little bird –  annie lennox
morning bird – sade
yellow bird – the brothers four
and your bird can sing – the beatles
free bird – lynyrd skynyrd
a chicken ain't nothin' but a bird – cab colloway
white bird – vanessa mae
bird flu – m.i.a.
bird of paradise – snowy white
bird dog  –  everly brothers
a bird in the hand – ice cube
high flying bird – elton john
lady bird – nancy sinatra
fly like a bird – mariah carey
early bird – the eagles