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Monumenta 2012 Paris - Daniel Buren: Excentrique(s) Work in Situ thru June 21, 2012
May 15, 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 sq.m., 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 through 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.

Daniel Buren has realised almost two thousand exhibitions across the world. Born in 1938 in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, 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 thelatter, leading the viewer to suddenly 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, for 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 been metamorphosed. 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 to make their access to theheritage of today easier. 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.

Upon the artist’s request, a curator has not been appointed to assist with the realisation of the project. The CNAP will therefore take on the role in supporting the artistic production. In addition, Daniel Buren has asked Patrick Bouchain and Loïc Julienne from the architecture practice Construire – Reconstruire to oversee the project management. The construction work as a whole is led by Art Project, directed by Patrick Ferragne, who has worked with Daniel Buren over twenty years, helping him realise numerous projects at home and abroad.

Daniel Buren also aims to continue his ongoing exchange with Jean-Louis Froment, who will support him throughout the gestation of the exhibition.

The entry fee for MONUMENTA is 5 Euros, with a reduced rate of 2.50 Euros. The cultural programme (complimentary with the ticket) will include concerts, shows, lectures and special visits linked to Daniel Buren’s work. A bilingual website will serve to enhance the visitor experience.

Several publications accompany the show. An album, co-edited by the CNAP and the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais (bilingualFrench/English), a monograph, co-edited by the CNAP and Flammarion (edited in both French and English), “Les Écrits - 1965-2011”, a collection of written works by Daniel Buren comprising over 3,000 pages, essential for understanding his work in depth, co-edited by the CNAP and Flammarion (French edition), and an educational booklet of educational resources, edited by the Centre Régional de Documentation Pédagogique in collaboration with the CNAP (French edition).

MONUMENTA 2012 is organised by the French Ministry for Culture and Communication / Direction générale de la création artistique, commissioner, with the Centre national des arts plastiques, associate commissioner, and produced by the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais.

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