Airplane Engines Land on Art Institute

Airplane engines designed by Boeing are hoisted by workers onto the rooftop terrace of the Art Institute©2010 Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia

Workers lift two airplane engines over Monroe Street and onto the rooftop terrace of the Art Institute in Chicago. The English artist Roger Hiorns was there with his wife and baby, watching another birth as the Pratt & Whitney TF33 P9 engines, which come from a U.S. Air Force Boeing EC135 Looking Glass surveillance aircraft, were delivered into his hands for a public opening this Saturday.  Having seen some airplane engines up close before on the tarmac at O’Hare, I could relate to the idea of incorporating these marvels of design into an art setting.  Of course, that’s not the exhibit was about. As someone fascinated by “culturally dominant objects”, the artist had inserted into the engines three pharmaceuticals used to treat trauma and depression, Effexor, Citalopram and Mannitol. They are beyond the sight and reach of viewers, but help make “the connection between global security and individual well being.”  I wouldn’t even try to make that up….

Alex Garcia

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