Following the success of their 2017 appearance at Manipulate, Agrupación Señor Serrano return with Birdie, a captivating exploration of humanity’s fear of – and desire to – migrate. Through an array of photos, scale models, and live projections, this talented company craft a strikingly profound narrative filled with many home truths – and a few surprises as well.
There are many layers to this fascinating multimedia experience – even the name has a double meaning. Centred around a photo taken in Melilla – an enclosed Spanish city in North Africa – depicting Moroccans trying to assail the city’s fenced border, this innovative company explore the history of mankind and its natural disposition to travel. It shows the hypocrisy of borders when our lives are surrounded by products, food, flora, and fauna from abroad.
The microcosm of Melilla and what it represents – as exemplary eurocentrism, Europe’s history of colonialism, and the privileges and prejudices of the first world – are all brilliantly portrayed with the simplest of tools. Meanwhile, scenes and quotes from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds are incorporated within the narrative – symbolising the irrational fear that many people have towards what is foreign or unlike them.
Often satirical but melancholic at times, it is remarkable how impactful Birdie is in its design. There are admittedly some pacing issues, with a few sections dragging on for too long. However, for the most part, Birdie is a humorous but humble reminder that an international world is a better one, and that we should move around every once in a while.