Lac Leman

Lac Leman

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The monumentality of this artwork cannot be denied, and more importantly, due to its vastness it cannot be ignored either. The result is irrefutably impressive, a literally major piece of art with a surface of 584 km² (225 square miles), reaching a maximal depth of 310 meters (1017 feet). Despite the immensity of the artwork, it’s in no way bombastic or overtly in your face.

The work itself is defined by softened shapes and blends perfectly in its natural environment. Due to the size one can automatically question the value of surface and depth as defining elements of this work. Perhaps the artwork is so colossal that they become abstract notions, limits that are there and at the same time aren’t. Spectators can ignore these dimensions. Perhaps one can bluntly state that  a work of art so big and all-encompassing is bound to become limitless to the individual.

On a conceptual level the depth of the artwork IS important, because it contrasts with the mountaintops that can be seen in the distance, and that become part of the artistic context of Lac Leman. It is a typical reference to the lifecycles of human beings, the highs and the lows that characterize and define each individual’s existence. Perhaps it’s telling that only the lake is part of the artwork. Does the artist want to tell us that life is all about the lows?

The striking blue color creates yet another blurry distinction, between the air and the water. It makes us consider our own position and the nature of reality. This effect is intensified by the reflection in the water and the visual effects of the natural lightning. The reflection in Lac Leman will never be the same, depending on time and position of the spectator. This means that every time a new interpretation of the artwork is given to the audience, with each member having a unique point of view and experience. It tells us we are living in a multi-reality.

The spectator creates the work of art, because his or her point of view is essential for a personalized experience. But there is another way in which the audience might participate in the creation or alteration of this impressive work. One can literally delve into the work, created entirely out of liquid material, and can add shapes or waves, as the artists call them, to Lac Leman. The artwork can be found on the border of Switzerland and France and has a 24/7 accessibility.

Green Car

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This wonderful example of unintentional art was on temporary display at the “Rue de l’église” (Church Street) parking lot in the French village Choilley-Dardeney.

It shows a green, mundane family car in complete motionlessness. This immobility is no coincidence, but is a dual statement. On the one hand it shows the inertia defining the little French village, and perhaps even the economic and societal situation of France as a nation. On the other hand there’s also a more positive connotation, an easefulness demonstrated by the lack of dynamism or movement. The car is standing still. It does not participate in the hectic frenzy of modern day traffic.

What’s special about this work of art is that it also leaves the spectator with feelings of unease. As a viewer we know that the quietness is merely temporary and can end at any given time. The owner of the car might show up, driving off and leaving the parking space empty. This strengthens the transient, almost incidental, character of the artwork and serves as a reflection upon our own limits, our own mortality.

That message comes to full fruition when one realizes that the particular parking space in the artwork borders the village’s cemetery, a subtle yet unmistakably important layer, that one can only find if one gets behind the steering wheel, takes action and ends the slumber of inactivity. It takes effort to discover the context and deeper meaning of the artwork. And yet, it also gives a shimmer of hope. Stagnation is also temporary.

On a meta-level this work of art challenges us to redefine motionlessness. It does not imply a stagnation of the mind. As such it refers to the Unintentional Art Movement itself. The objects are often immobile and sterile, and become valuable or art after being put in motion by the artist. Physical immobility is often followed by mental activity.

The materials used in this work of art are mostly thermosetting plastics and aluminum, with the circles in the lower part of the artwork consisting of rubber.