Contest Submission

Beauty

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Type of Work: Sculpture

Dear residents of Differdange,

I visited the space last week and what immediately became apparent is that it is used for different activities by all age group and at separate parts of the day (and night). It is also apparent from the description that this place is frequented by teenagers for quite some time now, it does not need too much advertisement and I don’t think it would be very much appreciated if it was to suddenly become too busy. There are various parts around where teenagers could hang around, standing or sitting down on the cement or ground. We could organise (as part of the intervention) a couple of days (as per need) to look for logs, cut them in a way they can become “chairs” and place them around and clean and prune a bit; i.e. make the area look as belonging to an old building not as an abandoned area. This could also serve as a spot for hikers, dog walkers and generally passers by to stop rest and enjoy it. The building at its current state is not the prettiest sight but one can enjoy the nature. Alongside enjoying the nature one could also enjoy art. I recently cast in bronze a sculpture of mine that I believe would fall in place very well. It is called “beauty”, it is a fragmented bust and very organic (see photos). Installing permanently a sculpture there, in the middle of nowhere, without any specific purpose, is a very meaningful act; art is part of everyday life; art can be enjoyed everywhere; art belongs to a living room as well as in a quiet public place you need to look for. Art can be found everywhere. I visualise that the installation of “beauty” will trigger the installation of other artists’ work around the area which will trigger a variety of future events. When for example enough work is in place, alongside the “normal” hikes, a “Sculpture Hike” could be created. An “Art Hunt” could be organised, a whole day event that could end with a big bbq around the building (or elsewhere). As these events would take place during the day, the area would be free for the teenagers later in the evening/night to socialise (and maybe also discuss how much fun the sculpture hunt was earlier that same day)

Thank you for your time Manolis Manarakis

P.S. The building is currently covered in graffiti. Although some tags are well done their positioning and relation to its other does not add up to an overall pleasing result. As part of the intervention, we are not supposed to touch the building; as in reality it looks inevitable for people using the space not to add more graffiti, maybe “beauty” will trigger them to see the building painted in a more fitting background (like for example as in the photo)

If though we are in luck and we will be eventually allowed to “touch the building” then the graffiti will become part of the project preferably in collaboration with young graffiti artist (amateurs or professional) from Differdange.

Estimated time: Permanent
Estimated cost: 15000

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4 Responses

  1. I understand that the “bauty” sculpture should inspire the local artists but I miss the specific relation of the sculpture shown to that specific space.

    1. Hello,
      thank you for your comment.
      The idea is not as much to inspire the artists as to inspire the installation of more sculpture in open public spaces; spaces that are not usually the area one would expect to find them. Usually sculpure is installed in squares, outside “important” building etc and usually a specific meaning is given to them. Differdange clearly shows interest in sculpture (the best example is the biannual symposium) so there already exist an adequate number of sculpture that could be used for that purpose. Maybe even as an event; the commune could identify the spots and people could choose what goes where. So I am thinking in terms of both adding something nice in this place, that does not have a single meaning, and (hopefully) trigger the start a longterm process (organised by the commune, I wouldn’t be involve on that, I would just be secretly proud 😉 )
      It is beautiful to randomly find a sculpture in the middle of a forest, it creates a dialogue between the work and nature and if you happen to like it then you will enjoy it too. If there are many sculptures around chances are that everyone will find one that would speak to them.
      About the specific space; it is true that for this project is called “first kiss environment” but in reality the “first kiss” is one only of the “ways” that this area is used for. In any case my approach is that at the moment of the first kiss it doesn’t really matter where you are but how comfortable you feel where you are. And this comfort derives, also, by the atmosphere of the environment. Anything that improves this atmosphere helps. “Beauty” is representing all humans and their inner beauty and I hope that when one is interacting with this work this feeling will be transferred to them.
      I am sorry for the long text. Talking about a work is often more difficult than actually working on it, especially on a non face to face interaction.
      But please if you have any other question I will gladly (try to) answer it.

  2. I agree with you that the space is used in different ways and does not need so much a kissing place. I do not see that couple want to hide in a occupied corner waiting until the one before has done their kiss. I equally see the use over the whole day.
    I also appreciate your idea of an artwork. And I like your collage of this.
    My only objection is it should be muuuuch bigger for that spot. I see it more in the dimension of 3x3x5 m on a concrete platform which is probably existing and can be found. So you sit around such a platform, your legs dangle or you enjoy the sunshine while laying down, a picnic might be here at a birthday…
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    See what happens…

    1. Hello, thank you for your kind comment.
      The actual sculpture is not very big, it is maybe slightly smaller than an average torso. If I understand well you are reffering to the size of the base?
      I don’t think that is needs a very big base that would also serve as a sitting area. But a small platform / sitting area close buy could be created.
      I proposed on the text alreadt to look for and use logs as small sitting stools, but there is always the option to organise a workshop to create more, or a platform etc.
      There is close by a concrete surface but I think it is the top part of a cistern, I considered it for a potential position but I don’t know if there is the permision to use it. In any case the exact position is not yet determined anyway, there is some flexibility on that.

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