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Robert Espier Ayala – Colombier

March 3, 2017 - April 2, 2017
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Robert Espier Ayala: Colombier
March 3 to April 2, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, March 3, 6 to 8:30 PM

100% of sales benefit the Wild Bird Fund.

Robert Espier Ayala’s Colombier is from the European tradition of pigeon/dove houses or cotes. Although the birds in Colombier are the omnipresent pigeons of New York City, they are never-theless still a variety of the dove, used throughout Christian history and liturgical iconography as a symbol of God’s divine spirit.
At Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit of God descends like a dove to show that This is my Child, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.  And after the flood, Noah’s dove returns with an olive branch to announce the peace that now reigns over the world after the cataclysmic storm. From these biblical appearances, the dove received Scriptural authority for its almost universal acceptance as a visual representation for the Holy Spirit and Peace. Yet the dove as pigeon creates a tension with more typical renderings of Spirit. The dove-spirit is resident in heaven, untarnished by the messiness of the streets, and descends only rarely to give its blessings. The pigeon-spirit is underfoot, dirty, scavenging for crumbs, persistently nesting in nooks and crannies despite the best efforts of city officials to oust them. To see the presence of God’s spirit in the form of the pigeon/dove is thus to understand God as present in the thick of the city’s grimiest self. It is apt that Colombier has found a perfect home at the Wild Bird Fund, a rescue center for birds.

Espier notes that this series was an attempt to capture the drama and frenzy of flight. The pigeons are photographed to capture impressionistic effects which connect the viewer intimately to the flight process, also evincing a spirituality not clearly apparent as we watch pigeons in our daily goings about. In some images the effect is transfigurative, wings as fans, flowers, a pigeon as a stone sculpture.

 –Reverend Dr. Troy Messenger, Union Theological Seminary


Start: March 3, 2017
End: April 2, 2017


Venue Name: Wild Bird Fund
Address: 565 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10024 United States

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Organizer Name: Andrew Garn