Books, Writing

26/11/2012

Neon Parallax

 

Neon Parallax is a singular and ambitious public art project that took shape from 2006 to 2012 under the care of the Fund for Contemporary Art of the City of Geneva (FMAC) and the Canton of Geneva (FCAC), consisting of a series of permanent installations by Swiss and international artists at the rooftops of the buildings located at the popular plain of Plainpalais in Geneva.

The project has been documented with a 240-page book in which the curators and several authors have written about the work of the participating artists: Sylvie Fleury, Jérôme Leuba, Christian Jankowski, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Nic Hess, Sislej Xhafa, Ann Veronica Janssens, Pierre Bismuth and Christian Robert-Tissot.

I have contributed a text about Jérôme Leuba’s project Breath (2007), a 24 meter-long single luminous tube which diffuses a uniform halo of white light and which looks to be suspended in space, over the rooftop of the building at 2 avenue du Mail.

Below is an excerpt from the text.

Breath was conceived by Jérôme Leuba as an intervention in the public space that could be integrated into the urban landscape and the daily life of the neighbourhood without imposing its presence or constantly pronouncing itself as a work of art. The artist was particularly concerned with the tedium that a static, figurative work could cause on an audience that has to see it every day. He therefore created an abstract piece that is constantly changing, in a subtle manner, and remains open to interpretations. Its behaviour seems to be responding to the environment, yet it performs a set of pre-programmed variations of light intensity that are too slow and numerous to be perceived as repetitive. Its shape reminds of the elements used for billboard advertising or street lighting, but it does not convey any particular message or serve any functional purpose.

With its apparent simplicity, Breath thus escapes any attempt of definition or univocal reading and cleverly blends into the nothingness of everyday life. In this sense, it reminds of Maurice Blanchot’s assertion: “The everyday escapes.” Blanchot locates the everyday in the street of the world’s cities, and describes it as that which is inapparent but unhidden, visible and invisible at the same time. Something that escapes being noticed and defined. Similarly, Leuba’s installation remains almost invisible during the day and playfully draws attention by appearing and disappearing during the night.

Video documentation of Breath

 

Neon Parallax es un proyecto de arte público singular y ambicioso que se ha realizado entre 2006 y 2012 bajo la dirección del Fondo de Arte Contemporáneo de la ciudad de Ginebra (FMAC) y el Cantón de Ginebra (FCAC). Este proyecto consiste en una serie de instalaciones permanentes de artistas suizos e internacionales en los tejados de los edificios situados en la popular llanura de Plainpalais en Ginebra.

El proyecto ha sido documentado con un libro de 240 páginas en el que los comisarios y varios autores han escrito sobre la obra de los artistas participantes: Sylvie Fleury, Jérôme Leuba, Christian Jankowski, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Nic Hess, Sislej Xhafa, Ann Veronica Janssens, Pierre Bismuth y Christian Robert-Tissot.

He aportado un texto sobre el proyecto de Jérôme Leuba, Breath (2007), un tubo luminoso de 24 metros de largo que emite un halo blanco de luz uniforme y que parece estar suspendido en el espacio sobre el tejado del edificio del número 2 de la Avenue du Mail .

A continuación se muestra un extracto del texto.

Breath was conceived by Jérôme Leuba as an intervention in the public space that could be integrated into the urban landscape and the daily life of the neighbourhood without imposing its presence or constantly pronouncing itself as a work of art. The artist was particularly concerned with the tedium that a static, figurative work could cause on an audience that has to see it every day. He therefore created an abstract piece that is constantly changing, in a subtle manner, and remains open to interpretations. Its behaviour seems to be responding to the environment, yet it performs a set of pre-programmed variations of light intensity that are too slow and numerous to be perceived as repetitive. Its shape reminds of the elements used for billboard advertising or street lighting, but it does not convey any particular message or serve any functional purpose.

With its apparent simplicity, Breath thus escapes any attempt of definition or univocal reading and cleverly blends into the nothingness of everyday life. In this sense, it reminds of Maurice Blanchot’s assertion: “The everyday escapes.” Blanchot locates the everyday in the street of the world’s cities, and describes it as that which is inapparent but unhidden, visible and invisible at the same time. Something that escapes being noticed and defined. Similarly, Leuba’s installation remains almost invisible during the day and playfully draws attention by appearing and disappearing during the night.

Documentación en vídeo de Breath

 

Neon Parallax és un projecte d’art públic singular i ambiciós que s’ha realitzat entre 2006 i 2012 sota la direcció del Fons d’Art Contemporani de la ciutat de Ginebra (FMAC) i el Cantó de Ginebra (FCAC). Aquest projecte consisteix en una sèrie d’instal·lacions permanents d’artistes suïssos i internacionals en les teulades dels edificis situats en la popular plana de Plainpalais a Ginebra.

El projecte ha estat documentat amb un llibre de 240 pàgines  en el qual els comissaris i diversos autors han escrit sobre l’obra dels artistes participants: Sylvie Fleury, Jérôme Leuba, Christian Jankowski, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Nic Hess, Sislej Xhafa, Ann Veronica Janssens, Pierre Bismuth i Christian Robert-Tissot.

He aportat un text sobre el projecte de Jérôme Leuba, Breath (2007), un tub lluminós de 24 metres de llarg que emet una aura blanca de llum uniforme i que sembla estar suspès en l’espai sobre la teulada de l’edifici del número 2 de la Avenue du Mail.

A continuació es mostra un extracte del text.

Breath was conceived by Jérôme Leuba as an intervention in the public space that could be integrated into the urban landscape and the daily life of the neighbourhood without imposing its presence or constantly pronouncing itself as a work of art. The artist was particularly concerned with the tedium that a static, figurative work could cause on an audience that has to see it every day. He therefore created an abstract piece that is constantly changing, in a subtle manner, and remains open to interpretations. Its behaviour seems to be responding to the environment, yet it performs a set of pre-programmed variations of light intensity that are too slow and numerous to be perceived as repetitive. Its shape reminds of the elements used for billboard advertising or street lighting, but it does not convey any particular message or serve any functional purpose.

With its apparent simplicity, Breath thus escapes any attempt of definition or univocal reading and cleverly blends into the nothingness of everyday life. In this sense, it reminds of Maurice Blanchot’s assertion: “The everyday escapes.” Blanchot locates the everyday in the street of the world’s cities, and describes it as that which is inapparent but unhidden, visible and invisible at the same time. Something that escapes being noticed and defined. Similarly, Leuba’s installation remains almost invisible during the day and playfully draws attention by appearing and disappearing during the night.

Documentació en vídeo de Breath