17.5”w x 13.5”h x 9”d
ANDREA DAVIDE Talks About This Kinetic Art Sculpture
The real story behind Andrea Davide’s Timeline of Destiny would make a blockbuster Tom Hanks movie. A U.S. fighter pilot becomes a battle hero whose story takes a tragic turn and quickly evolves into an enigma, a forsaken legend, until his truth is discovered by group of diligent seekers. An unlikely Samaritan restores the pilot’s honor and he is now free to join his fellow warriors in the American Valhalla.
The history behind Davide’s work is real. The art is the result from a painstaking undertaking by the artist and a committee of experts to uncover the story mystery of the downing of the aircraft of Major Thomas McGuire, a renowned American World War II fighter pilot, and his adversary, Japanese pilot Akira Sugimoto in Negros in the Philippine Islands. McGuire, one of the most successful fighter pilots in American history, was shot down by Sugimoto (who was also killed soon after.) For perhaps morale reasons, American military brass decided to let McGuire’s story be swallowed up, along with the flotsam of his aircraft, by the ever-consuming jungle of the island. An analysis of the evidence from the crash site revealed that McGuire’s end was an honorable one – an all-out effort to save the life of a fellow pilot.
While a Hollywood production would be sure to use easy emotional hooks to pull at the heartstrings of its eager audience, Davide chose to create a work that not only gives the actual event its due respect, but goes outside the constraints of the specific time to reach a more complex destination. Davide salvaged the materials for Timeline of Destiny from the actual crash site. The work is a culmination of the process of editing and culling the materials from the excavation, but rather than displaying her finds with a direct museum-like approach, Davide joins and juxtaposes her chosen pieces into her art.
The work contains utilitarian objects and materials (for example, it includes an unfired 50 caliber round taken from McGuire’s downed plane,) but looks less like a functional machine and more like an astrologer’s mystical or spiritual device. The brass-colored metals spike upwards from their geared bases, resembling a mechanical menorah. The base of the instrument is anchored by a rock taken from Negros Occidental, the island where McGuire’s aircraft went down. The concentric glass panes behind the work give color balance to the surrounding metallic surfaces.
Timeline of Destiny may appear to be an astrolabe of some ancient explorer, or the mechanical foundation for a medieval alchemist at first glance, but further investigation of the piece gives more credence to the truth of the history behind it. Davide goes beyond the literal display of these items as factual data or artifact; rather, she uses the real to focus on the broader event: the story of the individual acting as an integral cog in the machinations of a system and how pivotal that individual’s role can be in the greater context and how to be able to extract the beauty from it.
The Kinetic Sculpture Artist