Floating planes at the VitraHaus
The installation creates a memory of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Night Flight. The story, written in 1931, is about the pioneering days of air mail service. It jumps between Rivière, the airport station chief in Buenos Aires, and Fabien, one of his pilots. Rivière is expecting Fabien with the mail from Patagonia for a waiting transatlantic flight. He grows increasingly concerned when reports about bad weather arrive in his office. Fabien, on his way back from the south, encounters a cyclone that has unexpectedly crossed his path. Driven by determination, he flies straight into the storm and confronts
Saint-Exupéry’s story explores the inner conflict between people’s sense of duty and their belief in progress against the cost of individual sacrifice.
Similar to the paper planes at the VitraHaus, the story follows Fabien’s journey through the thundering clouds and his final ascent into the moon-lid sky. When radio contact to Fabien’s plane is lost in the end, all hope for a safe return is gone. Rivière finally sends the waiting transatlantic flight off without the Patagonian mail.