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Daniel Mudie Cunningham: Hold Your Breath

Blue siholettes of adults and kids overlaying each other while holding balloons

Daniel Mudie Cunningham
Hold Your Breath, 2011
Film still
Image courtesy of the artist

Daniel Mudie Cunningham's practice focussed on the melancholic readings of popular culture - examining how history as 'event' is structured and retold according to the conventions of film, music video and television.

Cunningham's three channel video installation Hold Your Breath (2011) recalled ten years after the event, the horrific image of office workers falling to their deaths from the World Trade Center as the attacks occurred.


Hold Your Breath drew upon the account of one of the hijacked planes that crashed when passengers foiled the terrorist plot, portrayed in the 2006 film United 93. The film showed passengers attempting to keep the plane in the air for as long as possible, desperate to deny the inevitability of a crash landing.

In the work Cunningham re-imagined the falling bodies as eternally suspended, considered the impossibility of defying gravity as a means of survival. Fragile and impermanent containers of human breath balloons are used to keep the figures perpetually afloat in a cloud streaked blue sky.

Exhibitions