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Anish Kapoor’s Red Belly, Hadid’s UFO Amuse in Paris Shows: Review

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The interior view of “Leviathan” (2011) by Anish Kapoor. Photographer: Didier Plowy/Ministere de la Culture et Communication via Bloomberg

The exterior view of “Leviathan” (2011) by Anish Kapoor. The sculpture is on view at the Grand Palais, Paris, through June 23. Photographer: Didier Plowy/Ministere de la Culture et Communication via Bloomberg

Tired of life? Ready to crawl back into the womb? Paris may have the answer to your wish.

Anish Kapoor, the Indian-born U.K. sculptor, has created a giant walk-in balloon whose reddish interior suggests a human belly. Looking at it from the outside, you notice that the inflatable structure consists of not one but three spheres resembling the clubs symbol in a deck of cards.

Kapoor’s work is the fourth installment of a series, grandly called“Monumenta,” in which artists are invited to use the vast space beneath the glass-and-steel dome of the Grand Palais for a solo exhibition.

The series started in 2007 with a landscape of leaning towers and art-filled cubes by Anselm Kiefer of Germany. In 2008, U.S. sculptor Richard Serra presented an ascetic row of tall steel sheets. Last year, an installation with old clothes by the French artist Christian Boltanski suggested an extermination camp.

Kapoor’s 100-meter-long, 17.35-meter-high creation is the biggest so far. Even if you find the work simplistic, it’s still a technical achievement.

Stitched together out of an ultra-light, ultra-resistant material, the three balloons are kept under constant pressure to prevent them from imploding. Hidden ventilators make sure that the visitor gets enough fresh air to breathe.

Kapoor has named his sculpture “Leviathan,” after the biblical monster. In the eponymous 1651 treatise by Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher, Leviathan is a metaphor for the absolute power of the state, which he defends.

Kapoor doesn’t agree. He has dedicated his work to Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist who was detained by the police on April 3 and is being held in custody at an unknown location without having been officially charged with any offense.

“Leviathan” is on view at the Grand Palais in Paris through June 23. The main sponsors include JTI France, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, Banque Neuflize OBC SA and Boston Consulting Group Inc.

Source: Bloomberg



Written by Breathe Arts

August 26, 2011 at 10:29 am

Posted in General

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