Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, ‘Future Remnant’ 2011, dinosaur fossil replica, IKEA furnishings, cable binding, 285 x 180 x 485 cm irreg. 
Courtesy of the artists and Nature Morte, Berlin and Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney and © the artists
Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, ‘Future Remnant’ 2011, dinosaur fossil replica, IKEA furnishings, cable binding, 285 x 180 x 485 cm irreg. Courtesy of the artists and Nature Morte, Berlin and Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney and © the artists
14 March 2013

An entire aeroplane arrived at The University of Queensland, piece by piece, to feature in the first Australian survey exhibition of collaborative artists, Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro.

Seventy cut-up metal sections of a Cessna 172 aeroplane were sent by airmail to the UQ Art Museum, through Australia Post, as one of the artworks for the exhibition Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro, which begins on April 5, 2013.

UQ Art Museum director Dr Campbell Gray, said for the artwork Par Avion (2011), the Cessna parts will be re-arranged into the shape of the original plane across the gallery, its broken and reassembled parts evocative of a plane crash.

“The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, developed the exhibition Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro, and the UQ Art Museum is the only gallery in Australia to which it will travel,” said Dr Gray,

Par Avion is an example of the artists’ interest in global travel and was inspired by novels such as Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Luigi Barzini’s Peking to Paris.”

“The Cessna 172 aircraft that they acquired in Roma, Queensland, has since travelled through the postal service to the Frey Norris Contemporary & Modern Art Gallery in San Francisco, the MCA in Sydney, and now to the UQ Art Museum in Brisbane,” he said.

The artists lead a nomadic lifestyle, travelling and undertaking residencies in numerous countries, and a key theme in the artists’ work is the concept of ‘home’.

In their work, Healy and Cordeiro playfully reinvent prefabricated structures and transform everyday objects into extraordinary sculptures and installations.

They create memorable and often playful images, but also broach concerns relevant to people’s daily lives, such as the cost of living, problems of overpriced real estate, the need for space, consumerism, and the desire for a better future.

Several of the works on display have involved the artists acquiring, dismantling and reassembling large-scale domestic dwellings – an entire suburban house in the Cordial Home Project (2003), a well-loved caravan in Wohnwagen (2006–07), and an old Queensland farm house in Not Under My Roof (2008) – the latter exhibited in Contemporary Australia: Optimism at QAGOMA in 2008–09.

Works in the exhibition also explore notions of transportation and the practicalities of storing and moving material possessions.

In Future Remnant (2011), a life-sized replica of a Monolophosaurus dinosaur skeleton is harnessed by cable ties to a stack of partially assembled IKEA furnishings, as if tied to a sedimentary layer of materialism.

The theme of catastrophe also appears in the series titled Where we’ve been, where we’re going, why (2010–11), in which the artists use LEGO to recreate photographs of the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster.

The exhibition showcases 22 of the artists’ most significant works from the past eight years, drawing on the MCA Collection, private loans, and works from The University of Queensland Art Collection.

MCA Curator Anna Davis said the exhibition captured Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro’s spirit of adventure and their uncanny ability to transform the everyday into something extraordinary.

“I think audiences will marvel at the sheer scale and ambition of their works, while also being reminded of the wreckage and destruction that goes hand in hand with human aspiration,” she said.

The exhibition is open daily at UQ Art Museum (University Drive, St Lucia Campus) from 10am to 4pm until 28 July 2013, and is accompanied by an 80-page publication, titled Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro.

Claire Healy was born in Melbourne in 1971. Sean Cordeiro was born in Sydney in 1974. They have worked collaboratively since 2001, and are based in Sydney. In 2013 they are undertaking a year-long Malaysia-Australia Visual Artists’ Residency in Malaysia.

Artist Lecture: Saturday 6 April 11.00am – 12.30pm

Please join Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro as they explore ideas of deconstruction and everything in between, followed by a discussion with MCA exhibition curator Anna Davis and Associate Professor Rex Butler, Art History, The University of Queensland.
Free. All welcome. Refreshments served after the discussion.
RSVP by Thursday, March 28:, (07) 3365 3046

Download images for news and review here.

The curator and artists will be in Brisbane for the exhibition opening on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6.

Anna Davis
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney

Michele Helmrich
Associate Director (Curatorial), UQ Art Museum, Brisbane
+61 7 3346 8759
0418 754 983

Sebastian Moody (Contact for images – Monday to Thursday only)
+61 7 3346 8761
0419 789 006

Exhibition organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.