↳ Madeleine Peccoux, The Clear Blue Sky From Which The Airplane Fell, multi-media installation, Gerrit Rietveld Academie 2022 Graduation Show, 2022—. Photograph by Zora Ottink



The Clear Blue Sky From Which The Airplane Fell 


100% des gagnants ont tenté leur chance*

*100% of the winners have tried their luck


In 1999, sculptor Michael Richards cast his own body, outfitted the resin sculpture in the uniform of a Tuskegee Airman, pierced the torso with 18 small airplanes, and painted the figure gold.

Michael Richards was in his studio on the 92nd floor of One World Trade Center when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed at roughly 466 miles per hour between floors 93 and 99. 

My parents met on an airplane. My mother was a seasonal flight attendant. My father was a steward. My mother became pregnant, and my parents got married. I was born on September 5, 1998. My mother became a full-time flight attendant, my father quit Air France, and my parents divorced. 

On September 10, 2001, my mother took off from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport. She had traded her usual Paris-Washington for a Paris-New York to visit her boyfriend. Antoine worked on the 33rd floor of the North Tower, 59 floors below Michael Richards. 

On September 11, 2001, my mother awoke from the sound of an airplane grazing rooftops. Antoine usually arrived at his office at 9 am. But since my mother was visiting, he took his morning off. On the television screen, my mother and Antoine looked at the massive smoky hole ripped by American Airlines 11 into the northern facade of the North Tower. Antoine did not say anything except for: Shit, my pen. My mother had gifted him a Mont-Blanc fountain pen for his birthday, and he had left it on his desk. 

As an adolescent, I had the recurrent dream of sitting in an airliner crashing into the open sea. I dreamt about it so often that I convinced myself it was a prophecy. 

I dreamt about the airliner to the point of fantasizing about it when I was awake. And the fear of it being a prediction soon doubled as the fear of manifesting it. 

I met a psychic. I believed in magical things, and read fantasy novels. I told her about my dream. I hoped she would say that thoughts do not convey actions. But she said: “ the more you think about it, the more it will happen.” 

Since April, I have been learning how to fly a four-seat, single-engine in Rotterdam.

The odds of winning the jackpot in a lottery where you pick six numbers from a possible pool of 49 numbers are smaller than the odds of dying in a plane crash. Thanks to Emilie Daversin, Fonds Kwadraat, and Fonds van Teet Luigens, I passed an aeromedical examination, obtained a flying club membership, and took my first six flying lessons. 

I have never told anyone that I believe I will die in an airplane crash. By telling everyone, I am making a counter-spell. And if I do die in an airliner crashing into the open sea, then everyone will know that I saw it coming.

Graphic Design: 

Anastasija Diukova