WONDERFUL MAN III
WONDERFUL MAN III Audio-visual installation by Norbert Francis Attard Shattered tempered glass, LED projector with gobo slide. 4-channel sound by Rob Peterson (USA). Futterställe (fodder barns), Aufgang 10, Ostrale 011, Dresden, Germany, 2011. For millennia, man has dreamt of flying like the birds. The first aircraft designers, like the Wright brothers, certainly had this in mind. Perhaps they thought of commercial applications but certainly their dream was one of simply reaching the skies to discover the freedoms of winged flight. Wonderful Man combines shattered tempered glass with a light projection through a gobo slide. It seems to reflect one of the great paradoxes of life: man’s capacity for brilliant innovation being matched only by his capacity for total self-destruction. One wonders sometimes how long we can continue living this paradoxical life. Wonderful Man represents a modern military aircraft. To some degree it is also site specific in the sense that it is installed in a former abattoir (cattle slaughter house) and also in that this work has been created in Dresden, a city that was heavily bombarded during WWII. The aircraft embodies our great paradox. The power of flight can be most beneficial to man. It is associated with traveling for holidays and business and for the transportation of goods. However, on the other side of the quandary, the military aircraft has only one main function, as an effective offensive weapon to destroy one’s enemies. To enhance the paradox, one does not immediately recognize the material that this work is made of. This ambivalence intensifies the idea of duality that exists in the nature of flying. Shattered glass is associated with destruction, particularly with places that have been bombed. The white projected light that makes the work glitter, refracting light onto the surrounding walls, represents the hope of flight and the peacefulness and freedom it affords.