Dana Levy: Silent Among Us

22 March – 25 April 2024

Dana Levy, Silent Among Us, 2008, Courtesy the artist and Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago


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Have these pigeons all flown away? Out of the exhibition “The Bird Show. Birds between freedom, war and quantum mechanics”, which the ERES Foundation is showing in Munich’s Römerstraße from 11 April? The video work “Silent Among Us” is the forerunner of the new show. The venue is the Beit Sturman Museum, a small natural history museum in the north of Israel. The artist Dana Levy, who was born in Tel Aviv and now lives in New York City, shows a rather dusty and lifeless-looking exhibition space full of display cases in which taxidermied birds and other animals wait in vain for visitors. But suddenly a flock of white doves flies into the room - the universal symbol of peace. 100 fluttering birds land on the display cases and shelves, perch on the blades of a ceiling fan and ride on a merry-go-round. Through their mere presence, the animals cross the fine line between the inanimate and the animate. The film ends with a glimpse of pigeons resting peacefully on display cases containing taxidermied birds of prey, which they would attack in the next moment – if they were alive. The strange film sequences hint at deep social, historical and political subtexts. Scene by scene, they condense into a picture of a region that is not prepared to let the past rest and naturally lives with the dead. Silent stories full of presence!

Dana Levy was born in Tel Aviv to Egyptian and German parents and grew up in the USA, Israel and the UK. She lives and works in New York City.