Alisdair MacRae

12 September 2003 - 18 October 2003
Opening Reception 12 September 2003 8pm


Andrew’s Birdhouse

Within the confines of Mercer Union’s PeepHole, Alisdair MacRae will present a birdhouse, whose entrance mirrors the hole in the gallery wall.

Brochure Text by Alisdair MacRae

What could have taken several more weeks of decision-making came together in a matter of hours.

Until moving to Brooklyn, I hadn’t seen Colin Zaug for about four years. He’d been living in Santa Fe for the previous 2 or 3 years and had just found a place to share with Carey-Ann in Park Slope.

On Saturday morning, half an hour after Bill and I loaded the wood that used to be his and Sunsook’s bedroom shelves into my trunk, I was in traffic, heading back toward the Williamsburg Bridge, when Carey-Ann called me. I told her I would have to call her back. A parking ticket sat on the passenger’s seat: one hundred and five dollars. I knew that I wouldn’t have long to park in the space, so I turned down Sunsook’s offer of breakfast or coffee. Bill understood as I explained that I was parked in a No Standing zone, and affirmed my concern that it also meant No Parking.

I wasn’t at all upset by the ticket. It somehow crystallized a set of events in my mind. Andrew’s Birdhouse, my project for Mercer Union, would be made from the wood given to me by Bill and Sunsook, even if it was plywood. I would make as many birdhouses as possible, send one to Mercer and leave the extras on the street. Also, as a result of the ticket, I wouldn’t go see a movie that afternoon. Nor would I go to the bookstore. I already had doubts about buying more books—for lack of space more than anything.

As I drove home, I considered rational explanations for why I shouldn’t be bothered by the ticket. I could have easily spent the money on drinks last night, or gambled it. But then again, I don’t gamble.

Soon I took out the plans for the birdhouse and studied them. I knew that plywood was not the proper material to build birdhouses. But, it didn’t matter. Once they were painted, no one would be able to tell the difference. I imagined the finished object, hanging on a tree in a forest somewhere. It would have a slight cast of green mildew on it, and the rain would have caused the plywood to buckle and pull apart from itself.

Download the exhibition brochure