Opening Reception: Thursday, February 20, 6-8 PM
“It is rather that profoundly in the consciousness of the race the idea of flight is associated with human aspiration and release from physical limitations. Now, on the very threshold of achievement, that dream becomes a nightmare threatening an awful vengeance for its perversion and in desperation the soul of man reaches backward for the untarnished symbol of his hope.”
-Selden Rodman, The Poetry of Flight, 1943
I grew up in the early 1980’s, at the tail end of the Cold War. As a kid, I was fascinated by, and sought out, spy photographs of the latest Soviet and American military aircraft. The photos were usually very grainy and blurry and only hinted at the shape and purpose of these mysterious vehicles. Often confused for UFO’s, they seemed to be from the future, and in a certain way, they were.
In the series Identified Flying Objects, I’ve adopted the visual iconography of those photos and applied them to non-secret military and civilian aircraft. By concealing the detail you are accustomed to seeing, these blurred shapes reveal the Brancusian essence of these machines. The images attempt to maintain and balance their paradox: while being sublimely beautiful and the pinnacle of a millennia-old human dream, these aircraft were designed and used to deliver or assist in delivering terror and destruction to human civilizations.
David Wittig, 2013
David Wittig was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied Photography and Political Science and graduated in 2000. His first solo show in 2006 in Northern Italy coincided with the publication of his first book, Alchimia Degli Elementi. His work has also been exhibited at galleries in New York City and Chicago. He resides in Chicago, where he works as a professional photographer.