Vanessa Safavi’s installation – “Each Colour is a Gift for You” – is composed of 17 taxidermic, exotic birds scattered discretely along the exhibition floor. The feathered animals seem abandoned and forgotten, lying in the corners and along the walls, in a position of non-activity or non-life.

These rigid birds are usually stuffed and stocked in drawers for biological studies, but in this case, they shape figures of symptomatic simulacrum rather than trophies. Thus, the installation questions our relationship with nature, focusing on its most inner contradiction – transforming something delicate and life-giving into a forgotten whim. “Each Colour is a Gift for You” articulates the contradiction of Western passion for exoticism and its obvious outcomes of failure, fatality and disillusion. The installation suggests a gap or stratum between interpretation, where utopia could meet reality; in doing so, Safavi interrogates our western concept of life and death.

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Installation view. ´Each Colour is a Gift for You´, 2012. Taxidermy birds. Dimensions variable
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Installation view. ´Each Colour is a Gift for You´, 2012. Taxidermy birds. Dimensions variable