28 May 2008

Richard Serra -- Clara Clara in Tuleries

Clara Clara - Richard Serra

Les Tuileries, Paris

Photograph: © deanndou

Dedicated to his wife, Clara, the installation was first commissioned by the Centre Pompidou in 1983 and was installed at the same site 25 years ago. An emphermal showing and the work was withdrawn due to protest... yes, protest against public art. Reason: blocking the wonderful view of the Tuileries. The cultural ministry lost the case. Re-installed at the occasion of Promenade, but would it stay there happily thereafter? Hm... !

The work consists of two opposed curves of steel, 33 metres long and four metres high, one of which leans towards the central line, the other away. It's placed near the Place de la Concorde on the esplanade designed by Le Nôtre, at the epoche of Louis XIV. Clara Clara responds to the environment in its unique baroque manner. However, it sets along the grand axis, the open straight view from Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre, playing heroicly with the strict geometry of the line, serving like a gate in between. One factor that arouses the ever-complaining Parisien public!!

Again, steel in nature, it attained a wonderful colour after weathering... traces of rain, and stains of shits from pigeons... it's as organic as it wishes to be!!

Photo: Catherine-Alice Palagret