The Birds and The Bees

Bees do it, birds do it, why don’t we do it…

“The birds and the bees” is an expression that defines a prudish way to explain the process of sexual intercourse to children through the reference to familiar animals.
The “birds and the bees talk” characterizes a moment in which sexuality and reproduction are discussed with a child in a figurative way. It consists of a detour used to approach the processes and eventual consequences of sexual intercourse without any straightforward mention of human erotic choices, experiences and responses.

By establishing an association with the ways in which animals meet and mate, this explanation defers from offering an accurate description of human sexuality and its possibilities. Instead, it proposes a metaphor that is based on small, endearing creatures that are not directly associated with forms of erotic imaginary.

Nevertheless this explanation establishes a straightforward association between human and non-human behaviours, in suggesting that it is possible to comprehend how humans copulate by observing such animals as the birds and the bees.

Following this idea, The birds and the bees offers a selection of artworks that relate in a very straightforward way with the subjects of birds, bees and sexual intercourse.
Together, these works form a sort of lexicon on the subject based on photographic images, sound and video pieces, presenting three different ways of flying and being adrift.


The birds and the bees includes the commission of WWWild Night, a sound piece conceived by artist Riccardo Benassi based on sound recordist Ludwig Koch’s 1930s field recordings of black birds.
It can be heard in this initial page.


Curated by Filipa Ramos