Morning birds mourning 
pigment serigraphy/graphite drawing, two colour-serigraphies, stone of volcanic origin, powder-coated magnetic board
99,5 x 72cm (frame), 99,5 x 99,5cm (magnetic board), 37 x 32,5cm & 71,5 x 39,5cm (serigraphies)
Morning birds mourning  Morning birds mourning 

While doing research on Cyprus under British rule in the National Archives in London, Marianna Christofides chanced upon a 1953 report from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) called „Report on the practice of Catching Birds by Means of Limesticks“. Productive from the perspective of the hunter, this is an extremely agonising killing method that is largely performed during the early morning hours. Birds are roused from the undergrowth by throwing stones at them. The birds then get caught up in glue traps, after which they are killed and sold as delicacies. This form of trapping is now prohibited in Cyprus, but it is still practiced illegally by the rural population.
Christofides’s new multipart wall piece references by way of image and material the disproportion in the balance of power between man and nature. A monochrome graphite print shows three birds sitting on a perch in a curiously rigid position. It is only the adjacent black-and-white photograph that makes the 180-degree rotation and enlargement evident that the motif run through. The second print shows the bird catcher holding his glue-coated stick at about the same level as the perch. A further contrastive pair is made up by a lava stone as a relic of the hunt and a multi-coloured print of a crystal form assembled from the superimposition of numerous pairs of wings. MORNING BIRDS MOURNING alludes not only proverbially to the reversal of the existing conditions of man and nature.
Marianna Christofides examines her source material – whether text, image or object – with a view to its factual authority by twisting and turning it, by reading between the lines and viewing its bottom. It is one of those – often random or marginal – microhistories of a human chronicle that she exposes and uses as the starting point for intensified artistic engagement. The techniques of the collage, superimposition, shifting and the fictionalisation of the appropriated materials offer the artist the possibility of grasping the present from its own past.

Regina Barunke in Marianna Christofides, Parkfield Studies, Temporary Gallery Cologne, 27.05.–30.07.2017