Since 2007, the Grand Palais has hosted an annual exhibition called “Monumenta.” The French Ministry for Culture and Communication invites an international artist to create a new work designed specifically for the nave of the impressive space.
This year Indian artist Anish Kapoor has created something that truly lives up to the expos’s name. His piece “Leviathan” for Monumenta 2011 is…well…monumental.
Yeah. You’re seeing correctly.
Here’s another shot of tiny people next to the great big art object:
For the record, I don’t mean tiny people in that they’re small. No, they’re normal-sized people next to a friggin’ humongous installation. We’re supposed to say size doesn’t matter, but come on. It really kind of does, right? Visiting the exhibition was definitely an awesome experience.
This was sort of like being inside a giant red womb.
One of the neat things about the Grand Palais is its huge glass dome. As the light changed (it was a cloudy day, with shots of sunshine in passing moments), both the appearance and feel of the object itself changed. When the light streamed in, what looked at first opaque soon transformed, as we could now see the metal armature of the building itself.
The womb was all well and good, but we were ready to get out into the world. And as with birth, nothing really prepares you for what the world actually has in store.
What’s great is obviously how surreal it feels to be interacting with such an impressively scaled object – and yet it’s real!
Back outside, we paid a short visit to the Petit Palais across the street (does the Petit Palais ever have an inferiority complex being across from the Grand Palais?)
I’m starting to think I have too many photographer friends. No, that’s not true. You can never have too many talented folks around you. I mean, I’m not a good model yet photographers are always snapping shots (the nerve!)
Don’t worry – I’m only “faux” climbing it. I have enough respect that I didn’t want to do any damage. (Sion vs the Palais).
I look so casual, as if I’m just walking out of “my house” or something. Why yes, I do live in this here palace. Just popping out for some errands.
Oh wait. You’re not interested in my paparazzi shots? You want actual information about how to get to Monumenta?
Right! You should go! It’s only open until June 23!
Nave of the Grand Palais – Main entrance
Avenue Winston Churchill 75008 Paris
Daily except Tuesday
From 10:00 AM – 7 PM, Mondays and Wednesdays
From 10:00 AM – midnight, Thursdays to Sundays
Admissions close 45 minutes before closing.
Metro: lines 1, 9, 13 / Station: Franklin Roosevelt, Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau
Bus: lines 28, 32, 42, 72, 73, 80, 83, 93
Admission to the exhibition gives free entry to the program of same day evening events.