52 taxidermized pigeons
An emblematic work by Maurizio Cattelan, Others is presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection on the interior balustrade of the third floor of the Bourse de Commerce, under the immense dome, for its inaugural exhibition entitled "Ouverture".
Will the disturbing squadron of stuffed pigeons, posted high above the visitors, make them laugh or frighten them? These naturalistic birds give rise to an initial feeling of surprise, amusement, and then of vague concern. Who are these “others”? Their presence inside the building, their silence, their analogy with the visitors themselves—these art tourists caught in the net of illusion—triggers an alarm. Their proliferation, combined with their familiar, almost banal character, soon arouses suspicion.
This work (under another title, Tourists) was born at the Venice Biennale in 1997 when its curator, Germano Celant, invited Maurizio Cattelan to take over the Italian pavilion. The facetious artist mocked the art world by proposing an analogy between the swarms of pigeons that invade the Venetian piazzas and damage the monuments and the swarms of art lovers who converge and burnish the art they have come to appreciate. Now renamed Others, the reconfigured work takes on a more universal and political character.