CANARY IN A COAL MINE
Digital Photograph, 90 x 60 cm each, 2012
Norbert Attard is presenting three cages to symbolize the three coal mines in Genk, the place where Manifesta is taking place and where SKYrocket will be presented. The three coal mines in Genk are Zwartberg, Winterslag and Watershei. They are painted gold to evoke the complex associations of coal-gold. Some are obvious: coal was the Western world’s gold that powered its industrialization. And birds in golden cages are of course the stuff of countless and well-known metaphors…. But the artist’s intent is more serious than a mere play of witty associations and evocations, although these are certainly important. For he is posing questions about post-industrial landscapes – in this particular case a gigantic tripod that has become part of industrial archaeology- and questioning whether we might not, in effect, now be that proverbial canary in that cage?