Three bird sculptures stand in the space, they are similar in appearance but distinct in pose: one stands in and upright and almost statuesque position, another bends forward with its head to the ground and looks backwards, the last one stands at eye level. Each pose represents a reference in itself, pointing at a status and stature the ibis bird has held through history: deity, bin chicken, animal. In the centre large plaster casts compose the body of the birds. These are also the point of departure for the artwork. Through digital processes Line has recreated a fragment dug up in Pompeii, the body of an ibis bird sculpture. She has then scaled and modelled head and feet to make the bird anew. Using the body as a link between the ancient and the modern, mythology and culture, she has employed various materials – aluminium, wax plastic – to dig into the geological and genealogical milieu of the ibis bird.
The fragment uncovered in Pompeii is what remains of a depiction of the Egyptian ibis deity Thoth, testifying to the erasure of the Egyptian and Oriental roots of Western culture. A once divine creature that is today considered an invasive species and dubbed bin chicken, the ibis has adapted to its human-ridden environment by imitating the sound of car horns and trading its ancient ‘natural’ eating habits for a fast food-based diet. Both sustained by participating in human excess, a being constituted by the unexpected side-effects of human wastefulness. The work reanimates the birds and cultural debris of their history, in a larger, almost human scale. In the span between Thoth and bin chicken Line’s own mutated version is brought forward pointing towards the development, symbolic meaning and environmental surroundings that the birds have encountered over time. The very morphology and features of the the ibis bird’s head make it useful as a tool for digging, reflecting Line’s interest in excavation and her own practice if ‘mutated archeology’ as a means of navigating the wasteland of the present.
– María Berríos and Katarina Stenbeck