Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 83
Birdhouse Project 005 / COMBO birdbox #001-004 by Swedish artist Henrik Håkansson is the first long-term site-specific installation conceived for Combo in Milan. Acting at the same time as a shelter for birds and a surveillance device, the work consists in a series of wooden birdhouses designed by the artist and installed on some trees inside Combo’s courtyard.
Each house is equipped with a CCTV camera whose live video feed is displayed on twelve monitors placed in different points inside the building, at both the ground floor and the stairwell leading to the upper floors, where the rooms are located.
The boxes are meant to host small birds such as blue tits and great tits, which are usually nesting when the Spring season arrives. A natural dialogue is occurring between the installation and Combo’s site, which is immersed in a public park providing habitat for various types of birds. Embedded in a building which is a place for both travelers and locals, the artwork extends the idea of community and highlights the importance of a peaceful coexistence of different species, habits and cultures. Håkansson had previously worked with bird boxes systems though in very different contexts, notably in 1998 with The Bird Island (World Health Organization, Geneva) and in 2000 with Park life (Momentum 2, The Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art, Moss, Norway).
Henrik Håkansson was born in 1968 in Helsingborg, Sweden; he lives and works in Falkenberg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany. His works involve the observing and recording of natural ecosystems and microcosms, and their reconstitution both literally and spatially by means of videography. They have been the subject of numerous solo shows in institutions such as KODE, Bergen (2019); IHME Contemporary Art Festival, Helsinki (2018); Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany (2016); Institut Suedois, Paris, France (2015); Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2008); CAG, Vancouver (2007); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2006); Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2001). He also took part in biennials and international group exhibitions such as 11th Taipei Biennial (2018); 19th Sydney Biennial (2014); Yokohama Triennale (2011); 8th Sharjah Biennial, UAE (2007); 8th Lyon Biennial (2005); 26th Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2004); 50th Venice Biennial (2003); 47th Venice Biennial, Nordic Pavilion (1997).