The Flock

Muller, Marianne
Publisher: Steidl
Binding: Softcover with Flaps
Pages: 112
Measurements: 28.70 x 20.60 cm

Somewhere on a rooftop in Brooklyn, an old man breeds pigeons, feeding and flying them. An unspectacular, seemingly banal scene that photographer Marianne Müller observed and photographed for months. The result of her observations and reflections is The Flock, a rich and dense record of life above the rooftops of Brooklyn, oscillating between documentary observation and metaphorical condensation.
Precise observations alternate with almost abstract compositions in which the birds’ flight is transformed into mere brushstrokes on the clouds above New York. The book is a reflection upon city and nature, on one tiny place and the aesthetic universe it holds. It offers a view of modern nature beyond sentimentalities of any kind. The photographs of flying, fighting, hatching, eating, and running pigeons touch upon subjects like mass and power, freedom and captivity, heaven and hell, associatively adding up to a panoramic metaphor of the relation between the individual and the collective body. The photographs are complemented by an interview with the Bird Man, providing yet another, radically different perspective on the birds and their lives.

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