Floating Giants

Max Streicher
2001

Max Streicher presents Floating Giants for Balloon Museum’s Let’s Fly exhibition. These two giant inflatable forms of white translucent nylon spinnaker hang suspended, defying the laws of gravity, high above the crowd below. Like Gulliver in his travels to Brobdingnag, part of Jonathan Swift’s 1726 satirical novel Gulliver’s Travels, the viewer is transported to this fictional land occupied by giants, feeling their own height diminish in comparison with the vastness of the human figures looming above. Ephemerality and transience are key to Streicher’s work. He uses an extremely light nylon spinnaker which is fragile, translucent, ghostly—almost not there at all. Balloons are typically fragile and the pleasure they give is all the more poignant for the fact that they will inevitably disappear. Streicher considers balloons, even in their most simple form, as expressing something about the human desire for transcendence. Balloons embody our desire to defy gravity, to fly, to be above it all. The creation story of the Torah tells us that God breathed creation into being, and later, breathed life to His mud sculpture, which he named, “Adam”. Perhaps balloons recall for us our origins in that initial divine breath.

 

Biography

Max Streicher is a sculptor and installation artist from Alberta, Canada, now residing in Toronto. Since 1989 he has worked extensively with inflatable technology in kinetic sculptures and installation works. In 2007 Streicher was a presenter at “Take a Deep Breath”, a Symposium hosted by the Tate Modern, London, UK. He has shown widely across Canada and internationally in museums, public galleries and cultural festivals. Streicher’s inflatable works are in the collections of museums such as the Albertina Museum in Vienna, The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick and The Art Gallery of Windsor, in Ontario.

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