A Parrot in Parallel Proposes
January 11 – March 14, 2020
In 1995 a firefighter from Damascus, Maryland named Brian Wilson lost his ability to speak.
Fourteen years later, two parrots taught him to speak again.
According to an article in the British Telegraph from 2009, the man reported “Two birds taught me to talk again,” he said. “I had such a bad head injury I was never supposed to talk any more than a two-year-old.” But two parrots “just kept talking to me and talking to me”. “Then all of a sudden, a word popped out, then two, then more.”
“You wonder why I rescue birds? They helped me to talk again, so now I take care of them”.
There are two Quaker parrots in the building.
They live with the building’s superintendent.
At least one is now on the other side of the south wall of the room.
The other may be in the room.
Most of the time they live together.
If you are here with one of them, they are now apart.
In this arrangement, they exist in mirror formation,
one apart from the other
yet facing each other through the wall.
Reflecting and communicating what is on the other side.
The walls are thin.
Parrots pay close attention to sound.
Sometimes they mimic words, sometimes the sounds of the building.
Vistors in this room hear the parrots on the other side of the wall,
repeating their words.
Visitors will sit
in a circle or a square
toward the parrot.
First in silence and then speaking together.
1078 Dekalb Avenue