Swiss artist Julian Charriere and German photographer Julius von Bismark have painted the pigeons of Venice’s St Mark’s Square in bright blue, green, yellow, purple and red as part of a performance for the city’s 13th Architecture Biennale.
For the project, titled Pigeon Safari
, the duo installed a birdtrap on a roof in Copenhagen, complete with a conveyor belt mechanism and an automatic airbrushing machine.
While this may ruffle the feathers of animal rights activists, Charriere insisted that the project was "without any danger to the animals" in the daily Corriere della Sera. The artist claimed that the aim was to impart individuality to these almost universally reviled birds. "That way, pigeons will be better regarded," he said.
"Pigeons make up part of our urban landscape, but we view them as though they are an unrecognisable mass, whereas each one has its own identity. If you are able to show that with different colours, the pigeons become more acceptable to people."
Oddly enough, this is not the first pigeon-related controversy to rock the Venice Biennale - only last year, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan installed 2,000 stuffed pigeons throughout the Palace of Exhibitions building as part of a work titled the others
The International Architecture Biennale runs from August 29 to November 25 and will feature 65 architectural projects from 55 countries.