Benjamin Kjellman-Chapin - Norway

The work, “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Trenches,” is a forged and riveted sculpture caught midway in a process of metastasis from ornithological to armored vehicle and back again. This metamorphosis is intended as an analogy for the transmutation brought about by the shedding of innocence and the loss of life that occurred during WWI. Taking as its point of departure the use of animals during WWI, particularly the use of pigeons to carry messages at the front lines, and inspired in part by an anonymous photograph of a pigeon being released from tank, “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Trenches” engages with the exhibition’s theme of transition in various ways—in the interplay between traditional and modern forms of warfare, between life and death, between the natural and the mechanized, between salvation and destruction.