École d'aviation (Flying School)

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© Courtesy of SolwayJones
École d'aviation (Flying School)

990 North Hill Street #180
Los Angeles, CA 90012
January 12th, 2008 - February 23rd, 2008
Opening: January 12th, 2008 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Wed-Sat 11-6; Sunday 12-5

Flying School (École d’aviation) is a multimedia sound work by Québec City based artist Diane Landry.  In Flying School, a variety of different umbrellas seem to come to life as living, breathing entities in a garden of color and sound.  Using ordinary objects, she creates event-pictures that she calls “mouvel works” (from mouvement, movement and nouvelle, new).

The installation fills the gallery space like an impenetrable island.  From it, sprout 24 multicolored umbrellas attached to different rods at different heights, but always within the range of a person's stature. The umbrellas unfold and fold intermittently, slowly, like a person inhaling and exhaling.  The plaintive melody comes from little motor-driven accordions that lie at the base of each umbrella.  They further accentuate the “lung” effect and, often, the spectators adjust their own breathing accordingly.  After a while, one also notices the silhouettes that the halogen lamps cast on the ceiling.  These moving silhouettes, projected upwards, resemble a flower opening and then closing.  The field of umbrellas moves unpredictably, its vagaries much like those of our climate.  To animate Flying School, each umbrella-accordion is hooked up to a midi-controller that in turn connects to a computer.

The umbrellas of Flying School stand among a tangle of cords and cables that power them, and the mechanisms that animate the umbrellas and squeeze the bellows are clearly visible. Landry does not want to trick or deceive, but rather to expose the simplicity of her work.  “It’s magic,” she says, “but you can see it.”

Diane Landry received a BA in Visual Arts from Laval University, Québec, in 1987, and an MFA from Stanford University, California, in 2006.  She has exhibited and performed extensively in Canada, Argentina Australia, and Europe. Landry was trained as technician in natural science, working for several years in as a civil servant in agriculture before turning to the arts.  In subsequent years she has done performances and made gallery works, but has also completed public works for hospitals, schools, and other public sites.