The Grand Palais in Paris hosts each year monumental works created specifically for the event “MONUMENTA”. One internationally renowned contemporary artist is invited every year to appropriate the 13,500-square-metre Nave of the Grand Palais with its stunning 45-metre glass vault.
For this edition, French artist Daniel Buren comes after Anish Kapoor who wowed over 270,000 visitors last year with “leviathan”, a four-chamber balloon bathed in red light.
Daniel Buren in situ work invites visitors to evolve through a set of colours and sounds spanning the immensity of the setting. Daniel Buren tells us more about “An architecture based on the circle” in an interview with Marc Sanchez to discover on MONUMEMTA’s website:
« The breakthrough came when I finally realised that this iron and glass architecture was based on the circle and the main tool used to design the building was a compass. So I made dozens and dozens of sketches. These drawings were the starting point for discussions with Patrick Bouchain and Loïc Julienne, and with Jean-Louis Froment, whom I had asked to help in the very early phase of the project.
We launched into a game of ping pong: sketches, discussions, exchanges, new sketches, improvements, discussions, a complete change of approach, new sketches, discussions, and so it went on.
Then after bouncing all these very different projects back and forth, we decided to take a decisive step and choose one of them, still in the early stages. I jumped in the deep end and the architects made a model so we could grasp the scale of the place, understand its gigantic proportions and try to see the relationship needed with the elements in my budding project.
That is when we decided on the proportions. The most important thing for me was the confrontation between a device placed quite low down – a sort of ceiling made of hundreds of clear, coloured circles – and the great height of the nave of the Grand Palais. I expected this extreme tension to emphasise not the hugeness of the building but its volume, left as empty as possible. As if to give shape to the air circulating in it.”