Part artwork, part history; the Pigeon PODS of Red Lahore is a (re)creation of a real artwork by a man that in a different world, could have been me. Read more
This project was successfully funded on September 17, 2010.
Who was Red Lahore?
Red Lahore, who's pseudonym comes from a breed of domesticated pigeon, was born in 1934 and grew up in Harbor Beach, Michigan. Because his real name and identity are still unknown, the only source of information about him comes from his personal journal, found within the PODS unit that stored his life's work.
Lahore eventually became a PhD candidate at Duke University in the Zoology department. Scheduled to complete his dissertation in 1965, Lahore makes no reference to receiving his doctorate, and due to his eventual retreat from the world to explore his obsession with pigeons, it seems likely that he left before completion. He did, however, have in his possession a copy of a 1964 paper published in Biological Bulletin titled, Sun Compass Orientation of Pigeons Upon Displacement North of the Arctic Circle. It seems plausible that Lahore was a grad student involved in this research, perhaps even playing the role of transporting the birds north of the arctic circle to Barrow, Alaska. It would certainly fit given his eventual efforts. Read the paper here: http://www.biolbull.org/cgi/reprint/127/1/154.pdf
As work continues on the restoration of the items found in Lahore's storage unit, more information will be collected. We do know at this point an anecdote from Lahore himself that mentions his first encounter with the idea, if not the reality, of pigeons. On family trips across the thumb of Michigan,
“We would pass through the town of Pigeon sometimes. It was probably the name that struck me as funny at first. It is a funny sounding word after all. But eventually it became interesting because I never saw a pigeon in Pigeon. I would ask my father about it, but he didn’t have an answer except that “there must have been pigeons there once!” He would say that they were lucky they were gone. I didn’t really understand why he thought that. The few pigeons I had seen in Harbor Beach hadn’t seemed very bad. It wasn’t until years later when I was at Duke that I realized that the name must have come from the Passenger Pigeon,hunted to extinction in Michigan and Wisconsin.” (Excerpt from Red Lahore's journal)