It was announced in 2011 but it was very difficult to grasp its importance at the time. When the Grand Palais in Paris staged an extraordinary show entitled Monumenta, following the participation of Richard Serra and Anselm Kiefer, the guest that year was British artist Anish Kapoor (born in 1954) who installed a giant dark red membrane throughout the interior of the nave. 37 metres tall. 72,000m3. The Grand Palais had been impregnated and visitors, dwarfed by the structure, could enter this original womb that the artist named Leviathan.
Touching the infinite
Inside, amid the deep red, one had the sensation of touching the infinite, because Kapoor is a master illusionist. He blurs human perception and thus puts us in contact with a mystical aspect that induces an agreeable state of unease. He makes our heads spin. In this instance the artist was talking about womankind and its overwhelming importance within society, woman as the great origin of the world. He put her at the centre of everything, thereby highlighting the fact that her representation has been erased from the imaginary iconography of power. Ahead of his time, he was evoking the surge in the movement calling for greater rights for women, demanding respect and equality on a global scale.
The colour red is still a current source of inspiration while he remains secluded in the English countryside
Right now, the artist who declined to be filmed this time (see his video interview on the occasion of his exhibition at the Kamel Mennour gallery) but whom I was able to interview via the traditional medium of telephone, is based in the Oxfordshire countryside. However he did send me, at my request, a selfie taken in his studio.
The world afterwards
To reform ourselves
When I was 15 years old, there were 2 billion people on earth. Today 50 years later there are 7 billion of us. The systems that govern us are still those that were in place 50 years ago. Essentially our numbers have increased manyfold but we are backward in our ability to manage equality, law, economics, the natural world, etc.
Artists don’t have the answers to these questions. But they do have the possibility to observe their inner lives”.
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