Daniel Buren takes the French presidential palace with the latest works of art – WWD
PARIS – Daniel Buren caused a scandal by installing 260 striped columns in the courtyard of the Palais-Royal in 1986. Imagine what his detractors will say when they get wind of the artist’s latest project: to cover the glass roof of the reception rooms of the presidential palace. in panels of blue, white and red.
French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled the work at the ÃlysÃ©e on Monday in front of heavyweights from the art world, including Jean-Paul Claverie, advisor to Bernard Arnault and one of the main actors of the Louis Vuitton Foundation; Guillaume HouzÃ©, president of Lafayette Anticipations, the art foundation supported by the Galeries Lafayette Group, and gallery owner Kamel Mennour, among others.
Macron said the works, a “flight of fancy”, were symbolic of the new spirit of freedom sweeping the country, more than three months after the reopening of museums, theaters and cinemas following an extended closure due to of the coronavirus pandemic.
âAt a time when life is resuming, this work of art reflects a desire not only to make the ÃlysÃ©e Palace a place of contemporary creation, but to invite you all to share in the spirit of daring, freedom and of reinventing our country, because I believe that this is fundamentally the role of artists, âsaid Macron.
It comes as the city comes alive around the envelopment of the Arc de Triomphe for a posthumous installation by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and the opening of several major exhibitions, including âThe Morozov Collection. Icons of Modern Art âat the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
Entitled “PavoisÃ©”, a reference to the placing of banners and flags, Buren’s work is to be unveiled to the public during European Heritage Days on September 18 and 19, and will remain on display until at least February 2022.
The artist, who was introduced to Macron by designer Ora Ito, added a wall of mirrors at the back of the winter garden which, along with the adjoining ballroom and the Napoleon III room, was renovated in 2019 by the interior designer Isabelle Stanislas, under the direction of La PremiÃ¨re Dame Brigitte Macron, to give it a more airy and contemporary look.
Multicolored panels, inspired by the French national flag, create a kaleidoscope of colorful light beams in the reception area. Buren left an empty space between each tricolor section in order to give a glimpse of the sky beyond the canopy.
“This is probably the first and the last time that I will use the colors of the French flag,” he said. âI was a little hesitant, because I don’t like playing with recognizable symbols too much, but I thought to myself that if I don’t do it here, I never willâ¦ This is the heart of the French Republic . “
Still, don’t count on him to feel too respectful to disrupt the halls of power. âI don’t care if I work in a bathroom or in a historic monument,â he said. “I’m not cynical, but for me this place is the same as every other place I have been invited to work.”
Among the guests were filmmaker Farida Khelfa, founder and editor-in-chief of Numero Babeth Djian, founder of Just an Idea Sarah Andelman, Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot and her predecessor Jack Lang, who gave the green light to the Columns. de Buren at the Palais-Royal in the 1980s.
The artist said he didn’t relish the controversy over his works. “I don’t intend to provoke that kind of reaction, especially when it’s very negative,” he said. But he doesn’t want to be considered an official artist either. âEvery time someone uses this term it has a negative connotation,â he remarked.
On the contrary, Buren wants his works to blend into the landscape, to the point of becoming indistinguishable from their surroundings, as was the case with the installation of the Palais-Royal almost 40 years later.
âThese works are not transferable anywhere else, so if they stay in place for a long time, they end up blending into the place. If they stay for a short time, they will have a more temporary effect, but in both cases, I think something interesting is happening between work and place, which become inseparable, âhe said. declared.
Buren said he hoped âPavoisÃ©â would stay in place indefinitely, although he was aware that next year’s presidential elections could usher in a new tenant. “I can imagine that if the president is not re-elected, there is a chance that the next one gets rid of him,” he said.
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