Every year an internationally renowned artist is asked to create a unique art piece that can fill the entire main hall of the Grand Palais, a space that measures 13,500 square meters (about 145,000 square feet). Last year, a piece created by British artist Anish Kapoor was a huge success. Kapoor’s ‘Leviathan’ enrobed visitors in a dark red inflatable structure, meant to imitate the sensation of being in a womb.
This year, it will be up to French artist Daniel Buren to wow visitors with an equally extraordinary work of interactive art.
With the Grand Palais being such an impressive work itself — it was constructed for the World’s Fair of 1900 — there is great pressure to deliver something special for this event, entitled Monumenta. Daniel Buren has done just that with his piece ‘Excentrique(s),’ which brings together 1,500 slim black pillars supporting plastic colored circles, like a mass of technicolor parasols. The circles project colors onto the ground, mixing together and creating a luminosity that changes with the sunlight.
In the center is a blue glass canopy with mirrors installed on the ground, representing a sort of clearing in the multicolored forest of Buren’s creation. The final touch is a large flag decorated with a blue circle and blue vertical bands — one of Buren’s classic visual motifs, which flies at the summit of the Grand Palais.
Until June 21, 2012 guests staying at the Hotel de la Tour Maubourg will be able to see this grand display for themselves. Like the now-famous Leviathan, this one-of-a-kind work will soon be a part of the history of the Grand Palais and should therefore not be missed by those who wish to experience a true piece of Paris.