THE FLYING MACHINE
2017 - Bamboo - Wood - Taxidermy Crow Wings - 700cm x 270cm x 200cm - FIAC hors les murs - Jardin des Tuileries
Project executed with Atelier Déambulons
For Abbas Ibn Firnas, the Andalusi chemist and physicist, the “first man to fly” in 875 BC. “He flew a considerable distance, as if he had been a bird, but, in alighting again on the place whence he had started, his back was very much hurt, for not knowing that birds when they alight come down upon their tails, he forgot to provide himself with one.” - Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari
As a tribute to early attempts of flying, from Abbas Ibn Firnas to Leonardo da Vinci and the Wright brothers, The Flying Machine looks back at the dreams of these visionaries. This hybrid machine imitates the flight of birds, bringing together elements that trespass the nature/culture divide; the bamboo once a living plant becomes a construction material; the crow wings once a living organ is now pinned to the ground. The Flying Machine takes the shape of an unfinished project, a work-in-progress of a dreamer who, by observing nature, challenges and puts our bodies in an impossible position: the human body is up in the air, defying gravity, breaking the law - a formality of movement.
"One of the first flying machines was by Abbas Ibn Firnas, an Andalusian physician, chemist and engineer in 875 (half a century before Da Vinci). Ibn Firnas built wings using bamboo and wood, and covered himself with eagle feathers. Like a bird, he flew a considerable distance, but hurt his back while landing, as his design did not include a tail. Today, a crater on the moon is named after Ibn Firnas."