aisling o'beirn
artist documentation site

costumised bags of pigeon feed

vendor selling pigeon feed

venetian drinking coffee




stories for tourists and venetians 2005

Piazza San Marco and La Palanca, Guidecca, Venice
The Nature of Things, A long Weekend
Curated by Hugh Mulholland, Commissioner for N.Ireland at the 51st Venice Biennale

Stories for Tourists and Venetians' was a site specific intervention which distributed 10 Belfast stories in two locations in Venice over a long weekend. The stories which were specific to Belfast made tenuous connections with Venice despite the apparent differences between the two cities

Vendors who sell pigeon feed for 1 euro a bag to the many tourists who flock to Piazzo San Marco to awe at the architecture and feed pigeons used costumised bags with Belfast stories for the duration of the long weekend. Meanwhile Venetians were served coffee in costumised cups in La Palanca, a coffee shop frequented by Venetians on the residential island of Guidecca.

The work aimed to examine the relationship between tourists and Venetians in a city that is so synomonous with tourism.

tourist feeding pigeons

''A tunnell runs under the Crumlin Rd in Belfast connecting the former Remand Prison with the former Criminal Court. Prisoners were led under the road to the dock without ever seeing the light of day.''

''Urban pigeons are known in Belfast as 'Rats with Wings' however homing pigeons, which are the same species. but bred and domesticated by pigeon fanciers are venerated throughout the city.''