© Cédrick Eymenier 1999-2024

_Reflexion Bird

shot & edited by Cedrick Eymenier
original music by Joe Gilmore
SD video 4:3 - 4min - 2007

++ public collection CNAP

Reflexion Bird (intentionally misspelled) was shot on Ishigaki Island in Japan. I was filming something else, and it was the end of the day, and my camera’s battery suddenly ran out of juice. Giving up, I came across these two birds and decided to take a chance with the camera and luckily, I was able to shoot for a few minutes, which I later edited into three simple cuts.

Then I asked Joe Gilmore, a musician based in Leeds, in the UK, to create a soundtrack three times longer than my three short cuts. I wanted to enhance the loop effect as if to get lost in time, like the one bird that seems obsessed with its image, pecking to communicate with its mirror-other, even looking behind the mirror to find it, which surprised me.

At the time (and still today) I was fascinated by Rodney Graham’s great film, Vexation Island, from 1997, in which a marooned Robinson Crusoe (Graham dressed in 18th century garb) is knocked out by a coconut and awakened by a parrot again and again in a repeated loop, but also by the way musicians use loops to play with consciousness by repeating musical phrases.

I first exhibited Reflexion Bird at Galerie Jean Brolly in Paris, where a friend told me the story of the 5th century BCE Greek painter Zeuxis, who painted grapes so realistically that birds flew in to eat them (only to be beaten by Parrhasius who painted a curtain so realistically that Zeuxis wanted to pull it back). Here, a bird pecks in vain, as one also does in life’s many, at times frustrating, repetitions.