Metamorphosis of Chávez

2012   Metamorphosis of (Géo) Jorge Chávez, Four bronze busts commissioned by Musei dell’Ossola
Crevoladossola, Italy

Italy-Switzerland Interreg Project, “Chavez di tanti uno solo”.
Outdoor Contemporary Art Itinerary commemorating the aviator Jorge Chávez’s path through the Alps from Briga, Switzerland to Domodossola, Italy in 1910.

photo: marguerite kahrl

This monument, which I built to commemorate Jorge Chávez, depicts the metamorphosis from human to eagle. The installation includes four busts fabricated in wood, hemp and linen textile then cast in bronze. The imprint of my hand sewn sculptures in bronze, recalls the raw material qualities of Chávez’s ‘Blériot XI’ monoplane.

Using what now seems very basic technology, Chávez’s crossing of the Alps in ‘Blériot XI’ seems particularly impressive. In order to make an Alpine crossing in the early 1900’s Chávez would have navigated the air currents much like a raptor. As an eagle gains altitude using air currents to get ‘higher always higher’ so did Chávez. My ‘Metamorphosis of Chávez’ represents his transformation from a man, vulnerable and bound to the earth, to an inspirational figure remembered for finding his way through the difficult passage over the Alps by thinking like an eagle.

preliminary sketch of project