Baptiste Debombourg

Baptiste Debombourg‘s work, “Aggravure,” is inspired by the story of Icarus, the man who challenged wisdom and reason for personal gain and paid with his life.  Debombourg’s first piece in the series is titled “Air Force 1″, after the instrument which holds the most powerful man on the planet aloft, our president.  A word of warning?  A premonition?  Beautiful as the rendering is, it is even more amazing when upon further inspection you learn that it is composed of 35,000 staples pressed into the wall.

The staple is a modern mark of semi-permanency, like the president, holding groups together fastly but easily torn apart.

The accompanying piece in Aggravure is titled, “Air Force 2.”  It displays Icarus in fall while his father attempts to rescue him.  We know how the story ends, the rescue attempt is a failure, but the struggle shown is monumental; the father who brought his son into the world battling to keep him in it.  Are we, the American people, the father?  We created this power hungry individual, we bestowed upon him the means to fly higher than any man (at least higher than ourselves) but at what cost?  Is it our duty to save him?  Does the blame rest on us for granting him his ascendency?  This piece, installed in 2008 at the crossroads of our current and the previous presidency rings a whole church tower of bells with meaning, but which presidency does it doom as failure and which does it doom us for failing?

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