Chris Marker’s “An owl is an owl is an owl”

The second work in Marker’s Petit Bestiaire (1990), a collection of three “video haikus,” “An Owl is an Owl is an Owl” pairs the strange gaze and repetitive movement of these birds of prey with ambient electronic sounds and lethargic vocals. Yet, the haunting beauty of these birds is complicated by their captivity. Here, as in Chat Ecoutant la Musique and Zoo Piece, Marker’s study provides a glimpse into a life of domestication, whether for better or worse.

Chris Marker, An Owl is an Owl is an Owl, 1990. Video (color, sound), 3:21 min.