—Breathing Big Top
Fabric, wood, electric motor, metal, control unit, belt pulley and cables
87 x 183 x 120 cm
(Natalia Baudoin, Dimitri Mallet, Alice Minier & Camille Pingeot)
Slowly and yet visibly and audibly, the white miniature circus tent ‘breathes’ in and out. The resulting bodily presence of the tent not only causes us to imagine the dynamics inside a circus tent but also the exertion and tension of its nightly attractions. Just as the audience members hold their breath during an acrobatic number and then breathe out in relief, the tarpaulins of the circus tent go up and down, becoming broad then narrow, as if its rib cage was pulling together and then relaxing again. At the same time, it evokes the romantic idea of the pulsating nomadic life of a circus troupe, which brings its life into the ring every evening and at every venue. This piece is in homage to Federico Fellini’s film “The Clowns” (1970). In one of the scenes from the film, a young child hears a noise outside his bedroom. He rushes to the window, pushes the shutters wide open and discovers a circus big top being set up on the village square. The canvas rises thanks to the efforts of the men who are hoisting it aloft. In this short scene the circus big top seems to come to life.
Neon tube, electrical motor, cable
Tube: Ø 3,8 cm; length: 60 cm; height variable
A trapeze composed of white fluorescent tubes swings up like a lamp, and at the same time looks as if the artist had just let go of it to grab the next trapeze.
—Hoops (from bird to tiger)
7 steel rings
Height: 190 - 235 cm, length: 300 cm, Ø 60 - 150 cm
Seven rings of different dimensions are lined up at regular intervals. It is left to the viewers whether to dare to dive courageously through the rings themselves or rather to wait until an acrobat or animal tamer takes over the number.
Coloured wood shavings
(Maria Landgraf, Maud Goury & Sonia Daroux)
Alluding to the centre of the circus ring, the colours and motifs of the background of the various circus numbers, blue, white and yellow wood shavings have been distributed in a circle in front of the entrance. As a result of their materiality, and emphasized by the three colours and the circular arrangement, the individual shavings are increasingly mixed as more people walk across the floor. Thus the visitors become part of the circus, entering the ring and leaving behind traces on the floor.
—Like a Big Top
White cotton ribbons, steel rings, wood
(Dimitri Mallet & Alice Minier)
White bands are strung from the roof of the building like the ropes of tent, making the building look like a circus arena.
12 plates, 12 metal sticks, wood
180 x 60 x 90 cm
(Florence Bournonville & Elodie Thibault)
As if the juggler had just put them down briefly, plates are balanced on slender rods standing on the floor. Obviously held stable in position, and yet looking very fragile, the viewers dare approach the wobbly structure only cautiously, to avoid causing the plates to fall and break.
A table is a sculpture referring to a classic circus act of Chinese plates. Here, the plates utilized are of course the ones from Sunday dinner — in homage to the French gastronomic table the Circus Hein troupe honored during its stay in Touraine, homeland of Gargantua and Rabelais. In the Chinese plates act, the protagonist twirls the plates very quickly, centrifugal force enabling her to balance them on the tip of a stick, while the objects movement remains imperceptible.
In prestidigitation, there is an act of a similar kind, which consists of striping away a tablecloth in a single movement without overturning the objects placed on the table. For us, these circus acts are a possible metaphor for today’s work of art.
—Circus Hein presents
(Elsa Bouladoux & Victoria Calligaro)
Artists postcards: Annette Kelm, Bjarke Ingels, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Henrik Vibskov, Jacob Dahl Jurgensen, Jason Krauss, Jeppe Hein, John Korner, Kaspar Bonnen, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Michael Sailstorfer, Nina Beier, Tomas Saraceno, Toves Storch.
In the style of historical circus posters announcing the attractions of the troupe, Cirque de l’École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon 14 designed various postcards with images of Hein Circus artists and their exhibited works.
—Circus Hein signs
Paper 2 flipbooks, each: 12 x 8 cm
When the flipbooks are held between thumb and index finger, a brief animation of a car hopping on a trampoline or animals and artistes leaping through a ring of fire is produced with and in the hands of the viewer.
This collective, formed for the occasion of the Circus Hein, gathers 14 young artists and designers, all students enrolled in the Designs Option of the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, under the direction of Olivier Vadrot (Cocktail Designers). The Designs Option curriculum is organized around a multidisciplinary research platform with students coming from diverse areas of design (graphics, industrial design, furniture, scenography, urban spaces, etc.). Within the framework of this option, students utilize the school as a studio for collective creation in the service of projects outside the school, which they must manage from A to Z, from the first sketch to the final installation, under real constraints (budget, communication, negotiation, etc). For them, this situation prefigures a future collective and social professional model of collaboration, as opposed to the usual figure of the inspired artist working in solitary.
Breathing Big Top
Like a Big Top