Jaume Plensa

20 01 2008

Elodie wants to talk about Jaume Plensa

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I discover this artist with the new installation in Place Massena, a bigger public place in Nice, where I come from. With the new tramline, artists are invited to invest the railway line with sculptures, lights, or writings…

We went to the MAMAC (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, of Nice) with Florent and Lionel, for the Jaume Plensa Exhibition. It was a short but very interesting exhibition, with few but effectives pieces. The sculptures or installations are almost larges, and must be seen in a big space. So, it was like a breath of air to visit.

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About Jaume Plensa
He was born in Barcelona in 1955. He lives and works in Barcelona and Paris (he has taught in the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts). It’s a important sculptor of contemporary art, more known since 1980.
He works with many materials : fist with metal, bronze, copper, recovers materials… Also, resin and light, aluminium, brass, high steel, glass… it depends on pieces needs. He introduces sounds and writings too.

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In the exhibition, we were in front of a big transparent character, with light inside. He was huddled up on himself, he seems to be peaceful, like a wise man or a buddha.
Some sculptures were put down on the soil, and others fixed upon the wall, to the side (we can pass below, and observe closely), raised like a gib gargoyle.

Characters are always covered with letters or words. Sometimes, the writings give some indications on the sculpture signification, and are related to the title. The letters are added like a material. They link with the human figure.

The installation with 10 gongs is very interesting and fascinating. It’s different of the others pieces who are showing.

In a long space, many gongs were suspended in two lines, face to face. It’s working with couples. A word was graved in each gong. Two words who are opposites, have a contrary or opposed meaning ; like hate and love, sex and religion… The installation is at ease, and wait the spectator intervention for run the action. Each gong is equipped with a stick. We are free to hit it, to make a sound, deep and round, with lot of vibrations. The sound gives a reel presence, nearly religious. The noise is so high and we feel all sounds like beats, to the ears at the chest. If many gongs are hitting, the intersection of sound is more special. The sound crosses over me and I could better feel the space around me. The vibration is a reel thing, a new material created by the spectator.

Also, I kept a pleasant remember of one piece. It was again a character, bigger than the last others, who stayed seated, and held his knees with his hands.
We arrived in a hall, and saw a light on the background, which changed colors. I was caught by the light. The character produced a radiance, like a glory (aura). I was totally absorbed by the colors, and was kept by the switching of light. This peaceful object gives to think.

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great interviews (in french!) here and here.

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Please Alice, can you correct me ?


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