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28th November 2011

Helicopter ‘crashes’ in quad

The ‘wreckage’ of a helicopter could be seen in the Front Quad of Exeter College earlier this month, thanks to the talents of third year Fine Art student Max Mulvany.

The life-size copy of a wrecked helicopter was an art project inspired by a helicopter that is alleged to have been brought down by gunfire during the US Navy SEALs’ attack on Osama bin Laden’s mansion compound earlier this year. At the time of bin Laden’s assassination there was considerable speculation about the existence and nature of this helicopter, with some commentators suggesting it might have been a secret ‘stealth’ helicopter that the SEALs deliberately destroyed before leaving the compound.

Max Mulvany said “[the sculpture] explores the rise and fall of this beguiling piece of wreckage from media sensation to anonymous ‘sculptural object’. For a brief period the helicopter was all over the television, but now nobody recognises it. The sculpture could purely be visually intriguing, possibly abstract – unless of course you know the controversial backstory.

“Exhibiting on the Exeter College Front Quad allowed me to play with this dual dynamic – some students knew what it was but the tourists were at a complete loss!”

The sculpture was exhibited in the Front Quad for several days, with an after-dark private viewing arranged which featured controlled fires and atmospheric smoke.

Images: The helicopter by day and at night, photos courtesy of Max Mulvany

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