Grace Weir
One swallow does not a summer make
2017
Photographic documentation

‘The Inaugural Autonomous Biennale’ or 'Cf' at The Research Pavilion, Venice. Curated by Jeanette Doyle, 'Cf' uses the Venice Biennale as its template with particular attention to the staging of National Pavilions where artists and curators are invited to represent a nation of their own choosing in a manner of their own determination.

Representing Ireland-Africa, 'One swallow does not a summer make', is a conceptual
pavilion in the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere, formed by the trajectory in air of an individual swallow. Beginning from a specific point on land, the pavilion is a line drawn and redrawn by the trajectory of a swallow’s flight between two different countries and back to the originating point again.

From a remark by Aristotle (384 BCE – 322 BCE) “One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy” a pavilion drawn in the troposphere, while originating at a specific point in a specific country, is subsumed within an overall trajectory made without relation to national borders and is continuously reformulating within a worldwide framework of many such lines of flight being made by all swallows.

All around the world individual swallows trace complex trajectories in the air between the place where they are born and other countries where they migrate to according to the seasons. Many individual birds have large worldwide ranges; swallows born in Ireland migrate yearly to Africa returning again to breed in the summer. Occurring on every continent except Antarctica and spending most of their life on the wing, the swallow is called the "bird of freedom" because it cannot endure captivity and will only mate in the wild. Now rarely using natural sites, the barn swallow has readily adapted to nesting in and around human habitation, returning to the same nest in the same location each year.
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