Paris's Grand Palais nave is certainly "grand". 13,500 sq metres of grand. And a glass vaulted ceiling at 45 metres high. The volume and space is overwhelming. Imagine an annual project. The French Ministry of Culture and Communication choose a contemporary living artist (either French or foreign) to create artwork to decorate the space for a period of 6 weeks. Solo - a one man show. Not a bad place to showcase your work, eh ?
The resulting ambitious artistic encounter is called MONUMENTA. And it's happening in Paris now until June 21st 2012. The first year, 2007, brought Anselm Kiefer from Germany, 2008 American sculptor Richard Serra. French artist Christian Boltanski was the 2010 choice and last year it was British Indian-born Anish Kapoor.
Daniel Buren (pronounced Burenne) aged 74 years, is responsible for the current 2012 MOMENTA.
Here are some images :
350 Plexiglas discs of different diametres in green, yellow, blue and red resting at different heights on pillars which are 3 metres high.
As you wander around the coloured "forest" you can hear noises, very soft sounds, a sort of whisper. The sounds are coming from loudspeakers dotted around the space and they are lisiting the numbers and colours in 37 different languages and read by 37 different people.
In the centre of the space between the 2 halves of the forest of plexiglass, there is a mirror on the ground reflecting the glass dome where some panels have been covered in blue acetate.
And you also need a perspective from above to appreciate the scale of the work. But it's all about the light and the changing mood of the work according to the sunshine, the clouds outside.
It's very interesting to almost "feel" the colours. Do try to see it.
Parisians know the name Daniel Buren as he produced the art work "Les Deux Plateaux" a series of striped chopped off columns of differing lengths in the Palais-Royal. It caused a lot of controversy when it was presented to the Parisians in 1986. Although that was 26 years ago, the work looks very fresh and of today.
Meeting the French likes Momenta and Daniel Buren. Do you ?