Exhibtion view | Photo: Sebastian Bolesch © Haus der Kulturen der Welt
The mistranslation in the double-barreled title is deliberate: one the one hand, the curators Thomas Hauschild and Britta N. Heinrich are interested in the human dream of flight, while on the other hand, they address the technology of human flight as powered by combustion processes.
Dreams of flight and the development of the technology to achieve it: this is an exhibition about art, power and neurobiology, modern aviation technology and pre-modern experiences. The show takes visitors to fascinating worlds of pictures, physical experiences and the technologies, props and vehicles of human flight: from one of Europes oldest and most valuable surviving shamans cloaks to a “flying carriage” from Baroque theater, from the Montgolfière to the space trainer for astronauts. It features prehistoric boomerangs alongside a contemporary jet engine and ejector seats, ancient Chinese rockets and a model of a Siberian "take-off" ramp for shamans alongside futuristic speed fantasies and flight simulations, experiences of trance and religious flight mysticism alongside the ideas of the early flight pioneers and aviation fanatics. Visitors can feel the fascination of flight by trying out the space trainer or experiment with optical illusions. The exhibition also throws up questions: what if climate change and a scarcity of resources were to oblige humankind to abstain from space exploration and mass passenger air travel? How, then, could we make our ancient dream of flight come true?
Featuring artistic statements by
David Altmejd, John L. Carroll, Lisa D / Franz Schmuck / Wilfried Prantner / Sukandar Kartadinata, Julius Deutschbauer, Tomas Fitzel, Roland Fuhrmann, Carsten Höller, Andy Hope 1930, Res Ingold, Werner Neuhaus, Christoph Niemann, Michael Oppitz, Chi Peng, Christina Maria Pfeifer, Antonio Riello, Anina Schenker, Eva Teppe, Florian Thalhofer, Young Timothy Dempsey Tjungurrayi
Curated by Thomas Hauschild and Britta N. Heinrich; co-curators: Viktoria Tkaczyk and Jörg Potthast