B!RDBRA!N, 2012, performance, 40 minutes
Originally conceived of as a live response to the legacy of the historical French artist Guy de Cointet, Mast set out to investigate and interrogate Cointet’s work while incorporating the true story of Alex, an African Gray parrot who was the subject of a thirty-year avian language experiment. What interested her was the curious overlap in the ways that both the artist and the experiment dealt with the imprecision of language and the myriad ways it can be delivered and understood. Working at the intersection of visual art and theater, she cast a stuntman, a stutterer, a sign-language interpreter, a comedian, a child, an auctioneer and a theater director to explore channels of communication in which language is problematic, challenging and/or inappropriate. They perform within a landscape of vivid, colorful forms that are reminiscent of Cointet’s sets, elementary school classrooms and minimalist art.
Presented at the Blackbox for the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time Public Art & Performance Festival, and at REDCAT for the New Original Works Festival.
Sound: Jake Viator