28 May 2008

Richard Serra -- Promenade in Grand Palais

Promenade - Richard Serra
Grand Palais
7 May - 16 June 2008

Photograph: © deanndou

Five steel pieces arranged in a Zigzag pattern across the Grand Palais in Paris, you have the feeling of a giant walking through the empty space... This is Richard Serra's latest work, Promenade".

Installed in Grand Palais on 7 May, this landscape of steel echos its host, which is itself an expression of steel and glasses. Constructed for the 1900 World Expo, Grand Palais played host for the celebration of industrial creativity and the triumph of confident engineering. The cruciform space of the Palais is vast; the nave alone is 200 metres long, 50 metres wide, and 35 metres high, with a floor of 13,500 square metres and a volume of 450,000 cubic metres.

The sculptor Rchard Serra once said in an interview that when he was commissioned by the Monumenta Art Series to work on this year's project, he walked around the vast space, "promenade" as he used to when he was thinking, seeking for inspiration. He said to himself, "it must be something vertical". Then, this is the something verticale. Five gigantic steel plates measuring 14m x 4m, with a thickness of 13 cm, planted in the palais.

The installation must be the most challenging part. Creating work from a physician and engineer's mind-set, Richard Serra never failed in his calculation. The 108 years old ground is slashed open at 5 spots, steel plates inserted, like an surgerical transplantation, the space is inverted from horizontal to vertical, and the Giant takes his walk.

Photo acknowledgement: lorenz kienzle, all rights reserved MMC-monumenta 2008