A highlight for many of the Singapore Biennale 2011 was the dusty, disused, derelict hangar at the Old Kallang Airport, a venue for the art festival.
Obviously someone had envisioned the artistic charm of housing a mock, contrived German Barn (with pseudo livestock) by Elmgreen & Dragset in the decrepit hangar. That same someone, presumably, also saw creative irony and dramatic tension arising from staging the “new space” within the “old space." It worked — stepping through the hangar’s threshold to access the German Barn aroused in many visitors an unexpected sense of awe.
Whether intended or not, many were drawn to and distracted by the aerodrome’s decaying allure. The cracks and rust, grime and mould only enhance the structure’s stark sensuality. Beams and columns were uncared for, girders and trusses all undressed. The peeling paint and partial panes are signs of an abandoned lover and the marked transience of time laid bare in raw, naked beauty.
A former refuge for proud flying machines now lies in the shadow of faded glory, only to become an interim shelter for a frivolous, fleeting fantasy.