Avion Nave Cultural
In 1992, Spanish sculptor and designer Eduardo Cajal made a chance discovery in a scrapyard – the wreckage of a DC-9 airplane. The fuselage, which was displayed almost in the manner of an installation, was an intriguing object for the artist and after learning the history of the plane, which had crashed but with no fatalities, he determined to salvage it.His idea was to recycle the fuselage, creating a vehicle for cultural and artistic exchange, reinventing the object as a space for contemporary creative action and communication.
This transition from scrap metal to mobile art space took many years and a team of skilled engineers and designers but, in 2005, Cajal and his artist/architect led collective Trashumante finally unveiled Avion at the international art fair ARCO in Madrid. They invited Welsh artist Marc Rees to baptise their majestically transformed space, commissioning him to create an inaugural site-specific intervention.
In 2009 Marc Rees was selected to represent Wales in the UK-wide project Artists Taking the Lead as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. His winning proposal was to bring Avion from its home in Huesca, northern Spain to travel around Wales. Rees will become the temporary custodian of this extraordinary sculptural object, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its conception with an international cultural exchange titled Adain Avion.
In summer 2012 this silver wingless bird will migrate and nest in three locations across Wales - Swansea, Ebbw Vale and Llandudno. On arrival at each site, the fuselage will be pulled into place by a large team of local people gathered from sports clubs, youth groups, community organisations and members of the public. This shared experience of such a huge physical effort will encourage a genuine desire for temporary ownership of this exhilarating object. It will place the community at the core of each creative gestation, from the development and delivery of events to the shaping of subsequent cultural and sporting activities.
Adain Avion functions as a social sculpture that comes to life in response to the transitory passengers who occupy the space. Contemporary dance and visual artists will be invited to collaborate with the local community and a full and diverse programme of activities, interventions and actions will be created that reflects the distinctive history and culture of the area. Rees, will curate this programme of performances, workshops, lecture demonstrations, concerts, installations and social gatherings.
Adain Avion is a portable piece of public art at its most porous, accessible, participatory and interactive. All activities in and around the fuselage will be filmed and stored in the ‘black box’ recorder mimicking the usual function of such a device to record specific aircraft performance parameters. Adain Avion is a catalyst for creative contribution and collaboration and the recorded material will form an important archive, an eclectic collective memory to represent the uniqueness of Wales in the 21st Century.