Over a period of twelve years, Erik Berglin wheat-pasted 4982 hand-cut images of birds in natural scale, in twelve cities around the world. Each bird was placed in a carefully selected location, and subsequently documented by the artist.
For the duration of this project, Berglin sourced ornithology books in antiquarian bookshops and libraries. The photographs were scanned, edited and reprinted. Berglin spent countless hours with a scalpel and a pair of scissors, tracing the contours of the birds to free them of their paper imprisonment. Each year, Berglin traveled to a new city for his project. From start to end, a total of 4982 birds were wheat-pasted in twelve cities on five continents: Gothenburg, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Casablanca, New York, Reykjavik, Madrid, Malmö, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, London and Stockholm.
In a time of animal spread viruses and worldwide mass extinction in the wake of the climate crisis, Berglin's project can be approached from many angles. What caused these birds to seek refuge in urban environments, so far away from their natural habitat? What feelings does the sighting of a bald eagle in central London evoke? Does it bring hope of a potential co-existence, made possible by these curious birds’ ability to adapt to a man-made world?
Erik Berglin, received an MFA in 2010 from Valand, Gothenburg, and now lives and works in Stockholm. His works range from interventions in public space to examination and appropriation of social phenomena and material found online and in books. Berglin takes an investigative approach to the medium of photography, examining both its technical possibilities and limitations as well as the boundaries between fact and fiction.