We toured the city today with architecture Professor Ulrike Kasper. Meeting at the Opera Garnier, we began our walking lecture with a discussion of Baron Haussmann’s design of “modern” Paris. With Ulrike we walked through the covered glass passages of the 19th century, to the Palais Royal, the Louvre and beyond. She wove together the classic architectural history of Paris with the contemporary buildings and art installations.
We ended the Day with a viewing of sculptor Anish Kapoor’s ‘Leviathan’ at the Grand Palais. ‘Leviathan’ is a powerful blend of architectural creation and art installation. The work is an enormous sculptural made of nylon and canvas that envelopes and surrounds its audiences. The sculpture soars above the audience to cathedral like heights but this scale is tempered by the human, womb like quality one experiences inside the sculpture.
We began the experience by entering directly into the work, which is molded into three large pods. Viewing it from the red interior, the hue is cast upon all of the entrants and deepens the vital life like quality of the work. At this exhibit we attended a modern dance performance, Time Drawn, created by Myriam Gourfink, and staged inside the sculpture. The dancers were positioned on the floor of the sculpture and their slow, controlled movement added to the hypnotic sensibility of the sculpture.
After the performance we exited the interior of the work, to view the outer shell that appears as a deep purple giant rubber ball. The pronounced geometric shapes cast by light filtering through the 1900 Grand Palais iron girders onto the structure offered a stark contract to the interior.