Despot Birdhouses

A birdhouse based on Mussolini’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in King’s Wood, Kent in England
Super Kingdom is an art installation with a difference: each of the pieces on show in King’s Wood, near Ashford in Kent, is a fully-functioning animal house. They just happen to be based on a selection of infamous dictators’ palaces…

Mussolini Palace detail 2
A birdhouse based on Mussolini’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in King’s Wood, Kent in England

Super Kingdom is an art installation with a difference: each of the pieces on show in King’s Wood, near Ashford in Kent, is a fully-functioning animal house. They just happen to be based on a selection of infamous dictators’ palaces…

Artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson (of London Fieldworks) are behind the series of structures. They plan to make a film of the various native and non-native creatures who take up residence in the houses, as a comment on the displacement of animal (and human) communities in the face of urban development.

Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania (the third largest building in the world, no less, and now home to the Romanian government) inspired this one:

Ceausescu Palace

While this intricate structure is based on Benito Mussolini’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (or Colosseo Quadrato) finished in 1943:

Mussolini Palace main
Mussolini Palace detail 1

And this upside-down pyramid is based on Joseph Stalin’s “gift” to the Polish capital Warsaw in 1952 – the Palace of Culture and Science:

Stalin's Palace
  • Wow… makes me wish I was a bird.

  • Deonne

    How cool is that! What a facinating combination of art history, architecture and fine arts! Keep up the fab work!

  • Joan Andrews

    I feel so sorry for my resident birds as the houses I provide are so very humble!

  • gregg in chicago

    interesting that there is so much interest in dictator chic. sign ‘o the times. u.s. and britain are virtual police states. the ultra-wealthy need a new dictator to stamp down the lumpenproletariat whom may soon waken from their prolonged slumber and be looking round for who sacked their rights and stole their money.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/apr/24/usa.comment

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/

  • Adams

    interesting that there is so much interest in dictator chic. sign ‘o the times. u.s. and britain are virtual police states. the ultra-wealthy need a new dictator to stamp down the lumpenproletariat whom may soon waken from their prolonged slumber and be looking round for who sacked their rights and stole their money.

    I bet he is an Obama supporter. (one with out a job)

  • gregg must be mad

    ^^ You mad?

  • Tim

    Very cool!!

  • Thanks Gregg and Adam, you pair of berks.

  • gregg in chicago

    Go back to sleep, Adams. How little you know, and how much you presume.

  • Oh my gosh…I didn’t even know people were making houses like these. I can just imagine my neighbors if I had houses like any of these in my front yard. They’d love it!

  • Ali

    I just love this. I want this in my garden!