This exhibition is really taking off.

As part of an ongoing, year-long presentation, Socrates Sculpture Park will host a unique kite-flying performance next month; the performance was to have taken place on Saturday, Jan. 21, but was postponed on Friday afternoon.

Dylan Gauthier is currently executing “Accidental Flight” at the open air venue in Long Island City. The artist is exploring the aesthetic, conceptual, and transcendent aspects of flight, invention, and collaboration.

Near the middle of the park, he is displaying a seven-by-sixteen-by-seven-foot sculpture based on the triangular-trussed kites that Alexander Graham Bell used to build around the turn of the 20th century. As a complement, Gauthier offers monthly publications of kite patterns that visitors can take, assemble, and fly. And just like on Saturday, he facilitates monthly kite-flying shows which introduce new patterns each time.

The next gigs are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, and Saturday, March 4. Admission is free.

Gauthier is fascinated by the way artists explore flight and he thinks inventors and contemporary artists work in similar ways as they try to get from concept to reality. He created the Bell-inspired sculpture (3D-printed nylon components, epoxy, aluminum, PVC-coated polyester, braided kite line) because the inventor spent almost 20 years trying to build the first manned airplane. (Don’t worry, he also came up with the first telephone.)

“Accidental Flight” is a metaphor for the world’s current ecological situation. The sculpture is grounded and unable to fly, but its design conjures up the potential of wind energy.

Gauthier is at Socrates Sculpture Park thanks to the Emerging Artist Fellowship, an annual project that gives selected artists the opportunity to experiment with large-scale public pieces.

All four photos are from Socrates Sculpture Park. The front image is of Dylan Gauthier’s “Accidental Flight.” The bottom three ones show other pieces by Emerging Artist Fellowship winners.


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