A gilded helicopter decorated with thousands of rhinestones, a cockpit lined with an extravagant and colourful coat of ostrich feathers. This piece of art, Lilicoptère, is a design of the Lisbon-based artist Joana Vasconcelos. Joana wanted to make a helicopter of what Marie Antoinette would fly in, if the French queen were still alive today. Lilicoptère draws on the rich, glamorous and bold aesthetics of the royalty of the late Ancien Régime in order to suggest a metamorphosis from machine to animal; a return to the origin and to the inspiration that motivated the realization of man’s dream of flying. The modern installation, a part of the artist’s 2012 solo exhibition at the Palace of Versaille, sat in strong juxtaposition against the ornately decorated, 17th century room. Regardless of the time period, anyone finding themselves a passenger in this fancy aircraft would surely get a kick out of riding in such ultimate and over-the-top style.
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