Fernando do Campo: To companion a companion
- When 7 May - 31 Jul 2021
Cnr Oxford St & Greens Rd Paddington NSW 2021
TUES TO SAT, 10AM–5PM
+61 2 8936 0888
Humans have historically co-inhabited sites with companion species. Many were always present, but many non-human animals have also been mobilised by the human, often introduced into foreign spaces. The intentions for these actions by the human carry complex contradictions – in our encounters with birds we find a hybrid of anthropocentrism and affection for the way animals have been imagined in relation to the human. These histories and affects are layered and knotted: colonial, migratory, nationalistic, anthropogenic.
‘To companion a companion’ is an exhibition of new work by Argentinean-Australian artist Fernando do Campo that proposes the human as the companion species to birds. It proposes ‘companioning’ as an artistic strategy through painting and archiving, listening and non-verbal forms of responding, and plural histories. It includes the painting series ‘365 Daily Bird Lists (January 3rd 2019 – January 2nd 2020)’ which presents a year-long archive of every bird perceived by the artist, alongside the video ‘Pishing in the archive’ 2021 that documents forms of non-verbal communication with the history of house sparrows in the Americas via Green-wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, and the performance lecture ‘The archive of we’ 2021 presented alongside the HSSH (House Sparrow Society for Humans) discussing these knotted multispecies histories.
The Companion Companion Reader is an accompanying website conceptualised by the artist and designed by Will Lee to collect commissioned writings by invited human companions from multiple disciplines. It includes contributions by Erin Hortle, Talia Linz, Timo Rissanen & Zoë Sadokierski, Annie Potts, Paul Kelaita, Kent Morris and more forthcoming: www.companioncompanionreader.com
Performance Lecture: The archive of we
2.00pm Saturday 5 June 2021 | UNSW Galleries
Working as an amateur volunteer historian for the entity HSSH (House Sparrow Society for Humans), Fernando do Campo shares a box of slides and correspondence from the 1950s between the HSSH and the Abstract Expressionist American painter Barnett Newman.
In Conversation: Fernando do Campo and Sophie O’Brien
3.00pm Saturday 29 May | UNSW Galleries
Join Fernando do Campo in conversation with Sophie O'Brien, Head of Curatorial & Learning at Bundanon Trust.
In Conversation: Designing with companions/company
3.00pm Saturday 26 June | Online
Join Zoë Sadokierski and Timo Rissanen as they discuss their collaborative design project PRECARIOUS BIRDS that documents the precarious circumstances of endangered bird species in the Sixth Extinction.
Walking Tour: Urban Birdwatching and History
9.00am Saturday 3 July | Centennial Park (Cancelled)
Join artist Fernando do Campo and Dr John Martin from Taronga Institute of Science and Learning for an intimate walking tour and discussion about the bird species we find in our every day and the histories they carry.
Presented in partnership with Contemporary Art Tasmania and MONA FOMA 2021. The exhibition travels to Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2022.
Banner: Fernando do Campo, ‘Pishing in the archive’ 2021 (still). Single-channel HD video. Image courtesy: the artist and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Sydney
Install images: Installation view, 'Fernando do Campo: To companion a companion', UNSW Galleries, Sydney, 2021. Photography: Zan Wimberley