Simon Tyszko builds a full size replica of a section of a dakota wing that literally cuts through his living space, a 5th floor flat in Fulham. What could possibly have happened? Everything seems undisturbed, there is no rubble or evidence of a crash. Rather it is as if time has stopped while a ghost plane flies through your apartment.
a project by Simon Tyzsko and Chris Hammond
Imagine, If you can, that you wake up one morning to find a full scale section of an aeroplane wing dissecting your living space. What could possibly have happened? Everything seems undisturbed, there is no rubble or evidence of a crash. Rather it is as if time has stopped while a ghost plane flies through your apartment. You go to touch the metallic surface believing that it will vanish, some apparition or dream, but the cold metal does not yield.
Simon Tyszko has contracted engineers to build a full size replica of a section of a dakota wing that literally cuts through his living space, a 5th floor flat in Fulham, London. Tyszko has removed most of the internal walls of his flat so that he cannot escape this intervention, be he having a bath or preparing a meal. He will live with this wing for one year, in which time, the installation will be open to the public on a couple of days per week, viewed by appointment or through webcasts on the Phlight web site. Also during this period, a number of writers will be responding to Tyszko’s installation, in the form of texts for a forthcoming publication at the end of the project.
Obviously an aeroplane in an apartment cannot help but reference the horrifying events of September 11th, but Tyszko’s attempt to live with this monumental metaphor makes this an optimistic exploration of potential ways forward. We may all have to live with the unseen threat imposed upon us since that fateful day, but Tyszko is literally living in the shadow of the wing. Recognising this absolute, Phlight will open on September 11th 2007, but apart from this, no attempt has been made to link this work to the events of this anniversary. It merely becomes an architectural fact, something for the artist to negotiate in his everyday existence.
For Tyszko it is a monument to ideas and four years planning that he now has to live with. For the rest of us, it is the opportunity to witness this terrifying yet beautiful intervention in domestic space and contemplate our own reactions.
Simon Tyszko lives and works in London. Having never felt the need to conform to careerism he took a twenty year break in his art education to work with bands like the Clash. He showed with Jibby Bean in the late Nineties and has recently been included in exhibitions and events at the ICA, London and the Jerwood Gallery, London
We Have a Plane: Phlight by Simon Tyszko
Commission Report: By Neal Brown
I present the narrative of this report and the recommendations that flow from it to the President of the United States, the United States Congress, and the American people for their consideration. In pursing my mandate, I have reviewed more than 2.5 million pages of documents and interviewed more than 1200 individuals in ten countries. I have sought to be independent, impartial, thorough and non-partisan. From the outset, I have been committed to share as much of my investigation as I can with the American people.
My aim has not been to assign individual blame. My aim has been to provide the fullest possible account of events, and to identify lessons learned. I approach the task of recommendations with humility. I have made a limited number of them.
1) We have a plane.
Tuesday September 11, 2007. Millions of men and women ready themselves for work. President George W. Bush goes for an early morning run. There is a urinating, expectorating dawn on the Lancaster Estate, in Fulham, West London: toilets flush and cigarettes are lit. To those planning to travel to Simon Tyszko’s apartment that day, the conditions are excellent for a safe and pleasant journey. The artist has constructed an aircraft wing in his apartment.
2) The foundation.
The artist has decided 1, with the help of a team, to mount an audacious attack on architectural, domestic and common sense. The project is well funded, the money coming through mysterious bank accounts.
3) Responses to phlight
An aircraft wing, carefully inserted within an apartment on a social housing estate in London, is a provocation. Has the artist failed to consider the feelings of those hurt or bereaved by the events of September 11, 2001? Has he considered that he may consequently incur hostility? Has he failed to consider that – as it is his own apartment that he has constructed the wing in – that he is aligning himself, in a very personal sense, with ideas of suicidal auto- destruction? (He has, certainly, created a disabling inconvenience for himself). Although the wing is beautiful, and bisects his apartment with commanding authority, it may be that the artist is both victim and perpetrator of an elegant insult.
4) SimonTyszko aimsat the western homeland.
Speaker 1; Is this real world or just a test?
Speaker 2; No, this is not an exercise, not a test.
5) From Threat to Threat
Of course art is always just a test. Real world is cutting your finger when you make art.
6) The attack looms
Tyszko instructs his engineers.
7) Heroism and horror
Art, in spite of everything, is still romantic – a kind of heroism. Flight is, thanks to the constrained pig sheds of Ryan Air, not romantic; slurry is horrible. Weather chaos is not romantic, but demonstrating against short haul flights is. Demonising and murdering other people (however wrong it is, and however much one disapproves of it) is purposeful and exciting for those who do it. Constructing an aircraft wing in ones apartment is both heroism and horror. 8) Foresight -and hindsight
a) The aircraft in Tyszko’s sitting room has left evidence of a vaporous trail of combusted aircraft fuel and water vapour. It commences somewhere above the broken clouds of Dulwich, descends via Clapham, crosses the Thames, goes over Parsons Green and thus to Fulham where its slowly dissipating line enters via the kitchen window of Tyszko’s home. Inside, the artist sits, perhaps watching television, or reading a book.
b) Further combusted aircraft fuel and water vapour will, in due course, commence a second trail of evidence from Tyszko’s sitting room: the line exiting from the artist’s sitting room window (which faces North-West), rising over Fulham, and then above Hammersmith and Acton. Perhaps Tyszko will be cooking something for his supper when the trail commences, or reading another book.
9) What to do? A global strategy
It is recommended that biometric entry-exit screening systems should be completed as quickly as possible.
10) How to do it? A different way of organising the governement
I look forward to a vigorous national debate on the merits of what I have recommended, and I will participate vigourously in that debate.
1. It does not seem to be any kind of explanation that the artist’s father served as a radio operator in the Polish Royal Air Force, flying in Lancaster bombers.
Private View September 11th. 2007 6.30 8.30
fulham, west london
Free admission by appointment