Daniel Buren at the Grand Palais ‘Excentrique’, travail in situ 10 May - 21 June 2012
An artistic interaction on an unparalleled scale, MONUMENTA invites an internationally renowned artist each year to transform the Nave of the Grand Palais with a new, site specific work filling the 13,500 m2, 35 metre-high space.
This year marks the fifth edition of the event. Daniel Buren, one of France’s most internationally renowned and honoured artists, has been selected for the challenge. MONUMENTA 2012 will be on show between 10 May and 21 June. The first four editions of MONUMENTA were hugely successful, dedicated to German artist Anselm Kiefer in 2007, American sculptor Richard Serra in 2008, French artist Christian Boltanski in 2010 and Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, whose work in 2011 attracted over 270,000 visitors in 6 and a half weeks.
Born in 1938 in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, Daniel Buren is one of France’s most celebrated artists, at home and abroad. He has realised almost two thousand exhibitions across the world. He lives and works in situ, responding above all to the space in and for which he is making the work. Examples include his transformation of the Guggenheim in New York and the Cour d’honneur at the Palais Royal in Paris. In 2012 MONUMENTA invites Daniel Buren to respond to the Nave of the Grand Palais and all its beauty, luminosity and history.
For the past 50 years Daniel Buren has been producing highly innovative works, based on a range of outils visuels (‘visual tools’). These elements, apparently minimal, nevertheless metamorphose the spectator’s perceptions, and, despite their simplicity, have a profound effect on the viewer. Artwork and space become one, the former revealing the hidden dimensions of the latter, leading the viewer to look ‘differently’.
Daniel Buren’s artistic work, his theoretical approach and his physical interventions have altered the understanding of contemporary art. At the same time the artist’s fascination for the sensation of sight, of colour as a pensée brute (‘pure thought’) and the freedom and experimentation he offers to spectators, have assured his great public success.
For MONUMENTA 2012, Daniel Buren will plunge visitors into a Grand Palais that has never been seen before. Spectators will become active participants in the unveiling and creation of a brand new artwork and space. This creation will be true to the rigorous approach of this renowned artist whose careful use of materials creates a maximum effect. Daniel Buren’s subtle ‘visual tools’ will reveal the space’s hidden dimensions, invisible potential, past and present.
The instant impact of Daniel Buren’s work chimes with MONUMENTA’s aim to democratise access to contemporary art. At each edition of MONUMENTA the French Ministry of Culture and Communication creates an education programme aimed to welcome a diverse audience. This programme is run by the Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP). In order to ensure that contemporary art is open to all, the CNAP ensures that everyone has free access to specialised mediators who can enrich the visitor experience through their artistic knowledge and educational skills.
In collaboration with the French Ministry of Education, a schools programme has been created to compliment MONUMENTA. The programme is multidisciplinary, designed from children at nursery up until sixth form. A series of dance workshops are a particular highlight, created thanks to a partnership with the Théâtre national de Chaillot. Incorporating a strong digital element, the educational programme will help communicate the artist’s work to pupils. Thematic visits for all ages are also available, enhancing the visitor experience for all. In addition MONUMENTA offers visits especially designed for disabled visitors. Throughout the duration of MONUMENTA, a special evening events programme will stimulate dialogue between word, music and dance and the work of Daniel Buren, allowing a continual discovery of new aspects.