Saturday, November 11
Mating season, 2023. A technician and I set out to document a series of performances in which both the performers and the audience consisted of turkeys. Such performances take place around the world every spring, with males strutting about for audiences of female turkeys in expressions of sexuality, and for other male turkeys in expressions of territory. In these states of excitement the males’ blood vessels swell, which scatters light differently and causes their dangling snoods, rippling dewlaps, and plump caruncles to shift from red to pink, white, and blue.
The secondary audience, which consists of human viewers, only has access to the performance documentation. Their distance from the action, as well as the tight cropping of the photographs, invites them to focus on the fleeting formal elements of turkey sexuality.
Andrew Norman Wilson is an artist and director based between Europe and America. Festival screenings include Sundance, the New York Film Festival, and Rotterdam. His work is in collections such as the Museum of Modern Art New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Centre Pompidou, and he has exhibited at LUMA Arles, MoMA PS1, and the Gwangju and Berlin Biennials. He has taught at UCLA, SAIC, and Cooper Union, and lectured at Oxford University, Cambridge University, Harvard University, and Yale University. His work has been featured in Artforum, ArtReview, BOMB, Frieze, The New Yorker, and Wired, and he has published writing in Artforum, The Baffler, and the Paris Review.