Text by CLOT Magazine
Marianna Simnett is an artist challenging how bodies are perceived and imagined. [I] imagined the world being incorporated into the bottomless depth of my body. Dissolved of borders, I imagined not being separated by a surface, the gloriousness of a utopian body that could melt into other beings, liquid-like, collapsing ‘hes’ and ‘shes’ and ‘theys’ and ‘wes’ through evaporation and perspiration. She told CLOT Magazine during a recent interview.
The Bird Game is co-written by Marianna Simnett and Charlie Fox and co-commissioned by the Rothschild Foundation, the Frans Hals Museum and Film and Video Umbrella to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening in 1869 of the Evelina Children’s Hospital by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, the builder of Waddesdon Manor. Film and Video Umbrella (FVU) commissions, curates, produces and presents artists’ moving-image works that are staged in collaboration with galleries and other cultural partners. Since the late 1980s, FVU has commissioned and produced nearly 200 different artists’ projects, ranging from multi-screen installations to shorter film and video pieces.
Directed by Marianna Simnett and shot in 16 mm by Robbie Ryan at Waddesdon Manor, The Bird Game is a step further in Simnett’s universe as she moves from using her own body as an artistic medium to live birds and children. The film mixes parts of Sleeping Beauty, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and avian sleep research and decentralises the human, turning instead towards a bird who punishes children without remorse.
On January 23, 2020, Simnett will present The Bird Game and LAB RATS at Kunsthalle in Zurich.