Visual Arts

On cooo: If pigeons didn't love MCA Denver, they wouldn't keep coming back, right?

Homing pigeons are amazing birds. From a young age, they have the ability to find their way home to where they were raised from hundreds of miles away. This ability -- which has yet to be fully understood - made them perfect for delivering messages in ancient Egypt, where people would tie notes to the birds and send them on their way.

But are pigeons art objects?

That probably depends on whether you have to clean the cage or not.

In July, MCA Denver will begin its Pigeon Project, an effort to redefine the relationship between museums -- who are the caretakers of art objects -- and their visitors by allowing people to check out a pigeon and then take it home, up to 500 miles away. After that, the person is supposed to release the pigeon so it flies back to the MCA.

Conceptual? Yes. Interesting? Yes. Weird? Perhaps. But not as weird as the job ad that MCA recently placed looking for pigeon caretakers.

For more on that and on the Pigeon Project, see this week's Off Limits, "Wanted: Homing Pigeon Trainer for MCA Denver."

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes