Installation, 2011, Cessna 172, deconstructed and airmailed from Roma to San Francisco.

deconstructed airplane

Installation, 2011, Cessna 172, deconstructed and airmailed from Roma to San Francisco.

deconstructed plane

detail, 2011, Cessna 172, deconstructed and airmailed from Roma to San Francisco.

deconstructed plane

detail, 2011, Cessna 172, deconstructed and airmailed from Roma to San Francisco.

deconstructed airplane

detail, 2011, Cessna 172, deconstructed and airmailed from Roma to San Francisco.

deconstructed plane

Installation, 2011, Cessna 172, deconstructed and airmailed from Roma to San Francisco.

We acquired a small Cesna airplane from a scrap airplane merchant in Roma, Australia. We then deconstructed the entire body by cutting it into small pieces and applying postage stamps directly to the surface of each article. These parcels were then sent by air freight to Gallery Frey Norris, San Francisco.

Par Avion, or Airmail, is French and the phrase often appears on a sticker or label indicating a letter should be sent by air. We think that it is apt that such postal etiquette should be placed upon the small parcels that once comprised a vehicle of air travel.

The initial impetus behind the piece lies within the literature that brings together ideas of individual freedom of movement and modern transportation. Fictional tales such as Around the World in 80 days by Jules Verne, semi-fictional works such as On the Road by Jack Keruac and non-fictional works such as From Peking to Paris by Luigi Barzini, put forward the idea of a global individual capable of spanning great distances in mechanised transport. Par Avion visually re-introduces the societal forces which make these travels possible: the Cessna is able to span the globe but only by reducing itself to components no larger than 3 feet long.

The wreckage of the plane that no longer has the capability of flying will be given new means of movement. The speed, maneuverability and size were once the distinguishing features of the aircraft but these have now been stripped away, and the object of these qualities arranged as isolated components. The method of delivery may bring some order out of disorder or lay to rest some of the intrinsic purposes of the original airborne machine.