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Pilot Projects

Luca Buvoli achieves liftoff in two flying exhibits

Since 9/11, Buvoli's project has changed. The metaphor of flight has lost some of its innocence and taken on darker resonances. He's begun to think about the power of flight and the uses of flight to power. Remember that an uncle of his flew in the Italian Air Force in WWII. The Propaganda Posters recall the appropriation of art and aesthetics by Mussolini's Fascist Party during the 1930s. One of the posters, Adapting One's Sense, is explicitly about adapting your senses to flying (humans didn't evolve with flight in mind) but is also, perhaps, implicitly about adapting to changing power structures and relationships and rules. Another poster, Flying for Intermediates, suggests that we've left the elementary grades and are headed for middle school.

A yellow helix, Flight Simulator (Helix) (2002), makes a brief film appearance.
Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery
A yellow helix, Flight Simulator (Helix) (2002), makes a brief film appearance.
Vector Blue (Remembering the End of Future) (2003) was created for its space in the Glassell.
MFAH
Vector Blue (Remembering the End of Future) (2003) was created for its space in the Glassell.

Flying for Intermediates takes us back to the Glassell, where a slightly larger drawing from this series, titled the same, bridges the space between the film installation in the small gallery and the sculpture, Vector Blue (Remembering the End of Future) (2003), that was created for this space. It's big brother to the Provectors at Borden Butler, which is evident at the southern end of the sculpture. But here, the flyer's wake describes his path through time, like a contrail. He rockets in over the north wall of the open room in the center of the Glassell's cavernous space, buzzes around in the space like a fly trapped in a jar, before arcing over the south wall and release. The vertiginous angles of his wake recall the Italian futurists -- and their great modern subjects, motion and speed -- a movement particularly co-opted (not always unwillingly) by Mussolini's Fascist government. (You can compare Buvoli's sculpture with some of the futurists included in the MFAH's MoMA exhibit across the street -- especially Giacomo Balla's painting Swifts: Paths of Movement + Dynamic Sequences of 1913.) With this latest work, Buvoli is steering toward provocative -- and troubling -- coordinates. One waits, in anticipation tinged with a little dread, for advanced classes in flying.

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