heimwärts [homeward]  2002

heimwärts [homeward]

heimwärts [homeward]

heimwärts [homeward]

heimwärts [homeward]
heimwärts [homeward]
heimwärts [homeward]

Action with 100 carrier pigeons. They try to find their way home from the courtyard of Munich’s city hall.


Concepts like belonging, recognition, and certainty are put to the test in heimwärts [homeward], a work whose aim was to observe and film the return flight of pigeons—birds trained to find their way “home”. Of course, this capability results from the construct of pigeon breeding, a hobby that combines a seemingly absurd tenderness with the drive to dominate nature. But as Aladağ was to find out, every attempt at control ultimately goes awry.

Accordingly, all systems of appropriation may produce highly treacherous results, as the control mechanisms involved have only a small systematic influence on the effects. Aladağ's astute observations were visualized in the form of an action during which a group of “manually” controlled pigeons were released into an uncontrolled area of sky where they had a momentous encounter with a flock of wild pigeons: the “tame” group joined the wild group, also adopting their home; the change of geographic location became reality, a consequence of the unswerving consistency of life. A new group is formed, its make-up created by this unexpected joining of forces, in an ongoing interplay of flight, loss, and regrouping.

Metaphorically, heimwärts suggests that fates are not necessarily immutable and that objectives are negotiable. The fact that the action took place in front of Munich’s City Hall extended the frame of reference to include references to coexistence and the future influences shaped by experiences with a new kind of citizenship and new groupings. (excerpt from the text by Shaheen Merali)