A Squawking Showcase And Other Parrot Tales

Carlos „Marilyn“ Monroy

2023 | Durational Performance, Lipsync, Installation, Video | 20.09.2023 - 16.03.2024

In artistic collaboration with: Camilo Bojaca and Nicolas Vicaino – Diorama Painting, Alse Design – Costume

Based in a study of a flock of wild Amazon parrots sighting in the Stuttgart metropolitan area since 1984 – in between Bad Cannstatt and the Schloss Rosenstein area – the project Schwäbische Amazonen plans the development and execution of a solo exhibition of the artist Carlos “Marilyn” Monroy inside one of the showcases of WUNDERKAMMER – NATURALIA I ARTIFICIALIA.

Employing the parrot’s image as a rhetoric figure for the consequences of European colonialism, the project exposes Stuttgart’s parrots extreme displacement and survival as an analogy for the cultural displacement the Latin-American (and other “tropical”) immigrant communities have in German territory. This parallel allows to create a creative dialogue on how both settlers, parrots and humans, overcome their difficulties. It gives as well an opportunity to rise question about the use and misuse of the parrot as an exotic, flamboyant and stereotyped symbol of Latin-American culture, that reproduces till today an extremely colonial view of otherness.

Additionally, the subject permits to point out direct consequences of the human intervention in wild-life and nature since colonial times affecting ecosystems in Europe and America.

The parrot issue is being approached from three outlooks. First, it offers actual facts of the parrots and their behaviour in Stuttgart’s scenario; Second, it presents a diversify study of the parrot’s imagery as colonial symbol that allegedly represents Latin American culture. In revision of the parrot image starting in heraldic symbolism to more modern representations, such as Ze Carioca, Disney’s beloved parrot character that represents a lazy, ruined but easy-going Brazilian; And third, it uncovers the bizarre relations European culture has shaped with parrots, either by petting or by use of their feathers as symbols of richness, exoticism and sexuality. Intentionally it draws analogies with its counterpart human migrants, creating a tongue-in-cheek language to point out the rawness of migration and the consequences of colonization.

With the kind support of the CURRENT – Art and Urban Space, MINISTERIO DE CULTURA Y COLOMBIA, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Kulturamt Stuttgart, LBBW Stiftung, Rosspartner Werbetechnik, Ritter Sport, promoted in the impulse program “Culture after Corona” of the Ministry of Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg.