The exhibition’s starting point was the Polish Aviation in Cracow, designed in 2010 by the Berlin architect Justus Pysall, in partnership with ARUP. Paper Planes was inspired by this building, and is an interpretation of it, its origin, its function and its form. The work was initiated with the acknowledgment that a) the building was designed as if it was made as an origami, a paper cut-out from a square area, and b) that the end result is a shape that looks at the same time like a gigantic aircraft propeller or a flying wing, both shapes associated with the idea of flight. Grospierre’s process in this exhibition was two-fold. First, it consisted of photographing all the actual building’s surfaces (concrete walls, rooftop, windows and floors) to “recreate” the original square out of which the building was cut-out. It is thus the reverse track that led to the actual building: going from the real material and photographing it to produce the original square that was used to create the museum’s design. Second, using the obtained square as an imaginary piece of paper, printing this square on photographic paper and creating real paper planes out of it. The end result of the work consisted of 2 sets of photographs and photographic objects:
1) photographs of the museum, showing its transformation from an architectural design into the original square
2) 5 different paper airplanes, all made out of the double-sided photograph which represents the flattened out building.
In addition, viewers were invited to create their own paper plane, made from the flattened out building printed on regular-sized sheets of paper. Throughout the show, which lasted from March to July 2011 at the Phase 2 exhibition space in the ARUP Headquarters in London, more than 800 miniature paper planes were created.