Reclined in a chaise longue, the visitor looks upward and contemplates five large-screen LCD monitors. Several flying figures, women and men, flit across the screens against blue sky and clouds. Simultaneously suspended and buffeted about in a world of air, the fliers’ street clothes snap and ripple, testimony to the wind’s elemental power. That the fliers are truly flying, not falling, cannot be taken for granted; the memory of the World Trade Center “jumpers” remains close at hand.
A soundtrack of rock-and-roll drumbeats and synthesized noises parallels the fliers’ aimless trajectories; the drums launch forth on promising starts, but falter and peter out.
Vertigo and peril are never far off. Given the large monitors mounted on the ceiling above, the sense of restrained peril invades even the installation materials themselves. The wind tunnel propelling the fliers cannot be seen, but a temporary suspension from gravity is being tested, both by the flyers and the monitors themselves. The universal order represented in the Sistine Chapel is here inverted: no divine covenant, just a careen through the clouds—provisional, precarious, unmoored.
text: Edwin Janzen