Recently looking at Paola Pivi's oeuvre, I was reminded of her 2012 Public Art Fund commission, How I Roll (2012). A Piper Seneca six-seater plane installed as a kinetic sculpture in Central Park, New York, the plane slowly but continuously rotated 360 degrees upon itself, using its wing tips as the axis of rotation. Pivi inserted a familiar object in an unexpected environment, allowing visitors to experience a unique distortion of scale and place.
Airplanes (and other physical elements of modern material culture) also serve as inspiration and physical source material for Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, a dynamic duo with a varied artistic (but consistently conceptually brainy) practice.
Take, for example, their installation, Stasis (2012), commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, on the occasion of their namesake exhibition. Featuring a Beechcraft travelair airplane suspended in a scaffolding cube, the airplane is frozen in time and space. Despite the physically prominent apparatus that keeps the airplane levitated, its nose looks ready to dive into the museum's facade at any moment.
Another of my favorite Healy and Cordeiro works is both a metaphysical and literal piece of mail art, Par Avion (2011-12). The artists acquired a small Cesna airplane from a scrap airplane merchant in Australia (which is where they are from), cut the plane into small parcel-sized pieces, and shipped each piece of the airplane--by air mail and through the air--to the gallery in San Francisco that showed the work. Once all the airplane parts arrived, the artists reconstituted the molecular components within the installation space.
From what I know of Healy and Cordeiro, they move around. A lot. They have lived and worked in Japan, Berlin, and Kuala Lumpur. This nomadism permeates their work as a trigger--questioning the definition of home and the various material objects that comprise modern day living, accumulating tangible things as meaningful representations of a life lived, exploring the possibilities of future archeologists finding remnants of material culture, and attempting anachronistically to ascribe significance to material objects. Healy and Cordeiro's work somehow manages to be simultaneously witty, visually aggressive and quietly poignant, relevant in a universal way perhaps because of the generic and globalized modern world we live in. I look forward to seeing more of their work in New York.
All images of Healy and Cordeiro's work (C) Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro. Courtesy of the artists.
With additional thanks to Roslyn Oxley at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.