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Birds Aren't Real


01.05.24 - 01.27.24

Opening Reception:

Friday January 5th 6-8pm

On view until January 27th 2024

15 Monroe St, 10002 NYC


Zoé Brunet-Jailly, Birds Aren't Real (Pigeon #4)

IRL is pleased to present Birds Aren't Real, a three-person group show, marking the NYC debut of all participating artists.

In Birds Aren’t Real, the artists navigate the complex interplay between humanity and technology, nature and structure, the organic and the constructed. Exploring themes of cyborgs, machines, conspiracy theories, alienation, misinformation and surveillance, the presented artworks generally question the notion of artificiality and its relationship to creation and art making. 

Birds Aren’t Real questions established norms while weaving a narrative that challenges binary distinctions. It unfolds as a contemplative space where the commonality of our shared experiences is meticulously dissected. By challenging the conventional binary framework, it offers a nuanced perspective on the intricate relationships between individuals, machines, and the pervasive undercurrents of conspiracy and surveillance. 

At the heart of Michel Jocaille’s work lies a profound exploration of queer ecology, queer identity, and the allure of drag imagery, steeped in flashy and seductive camp aesthetics. Jocaille’s works encapsulate the fluidity of identity, embodying an ongoing construction and constant transition. Liberated from heteronormative rigidity, these pieces reflect the idea of a moving and liberated identity, resistant to authoritarian systems of biopower that underlie conventional constructs.

Brunet-Jailly’s work questions technologies like AI in her series of "real people portraits", creating a vibrant dialog with her "birds aren’t real" series. The cake-portraits allude to the farcical conspiracy theory started in 2017 by Peter McIndoe, stating that birds were in fact drones designed by the CIA to spy on American citizens. The pervasive influence of technology, surveillance, and conspiracy theories like "birds aren't real" form a backdrop that speaks to the alienation experienced not only in our relationship with machines but also through the capitalist modes of sociability that define our society. 

Brad Nath’s sculptural work explores the themes of surveillance and biopower, with the dogoid acting as a direct reference to the US military and the NYPD robot-dogs. The sculpture gives a body to the range of fantasies and fears that emerge from examining the relations between the human-canine bond and human-robot interaction. Nath’s dogoid explores the potentials of both friendship and violence in human-robot- dog interaction as an interconnected and unresolved tension.

The exhibition serves as a visual journey challenging the viewer to contemplate the impact of drone technology, surveillance, and the blurred lines between reality and conspiracy theories. It delves into the profound sense of alienation that emerges from these dynamics, inviting reflection on the authenticity of our connections and the authenticity of the information that shapes our perceptions.

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Michel Jocaille, Which way leads to the castle ? 


Brad Nath, Dogoid (carbon)

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