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Blog – Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro's Stasis

Posted on Oct. 4, 2012 in Curatorial.

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, Stasis, 2012, aeroplane, scaffolding, commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art and supported by the Keir Foundation and the Australia Council for the Arts and © the artists, photograph: Alex Davies

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro’s MCA survey runs 4 October to 2 December 2012. Among the many striking works in the exhibition, one is a new commission titled Stasis supported by the Keir Foundation and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Here is an extract from the Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro essay written by MCA Curator Anna Davis:

To invent the sailing ship or steamer is to invent the shipwreck.
To invent the train is to invent the rail accident of derailment.
To invent the family automobile is to produce the pile-up on the highway.
To get what is heavier than air to take off in the form of an aeroplane or dirigible is to invent the crash, the air disaster.
_Paul Virilio, Unknown Quantity

Highly evocative machines, small planes are capable of stirring up passionate feelings of wanderlust and the romance of travel. They are also symbolic of a particular kind of fearlessness and an individual will we often associate with the long solo voyage. Inspired by tales of journeys on small aircraft, Healy and Cordeiro have created a new work titled Stasis (2012) for the MCA exhibition.

This temporary installation on the Museum’s front lawn consists of a Beechcraft Travel Air suspended in a cube matrix of metal scaffolding. The bright orange plane is held aloft by the scaffolding system, yet also appears to have been captured mid-flight. Positioned with the plane’s nose pointing towards the MCA, its angle of trajectory suggests an ominous result.

While the work is immobile, as its title suggests, the suspended plane embodies the velocity of flight and a virtual image of movement remains. Poised indefinitely on the brink of disaster, in Virilio’s terms, it foreshadows its own accident. While small aircraft tend to conjure far less agonising narratives, the work brings to mind the unforgettable images of 9/11, a horrifying incident that will forever be linked with planes flying near buildings. As the artists describe, Stasis reflects on the fleeting, momentary qualities of recent events that have shaped history and imprinted themselves into the psyche and memory of society’.

Posted by Kelly Stone

To find out more about the exhibition, go to the webpage .

Or check out Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro’s website .