rt for the whole community. Not relegated to the walls of the elite, but there to be seen and enjoyed by everybody. Such is the goal behind Cedric Le Borgne‘s lighted installations, set-up high on rooftops and suspended between and amongst places of highest visibility to ignite the imaginations of everyone from young school children to long-time residents.
I had the pleasure of interviewing to Le Borgne via Skype and hearing about his vision and inspiration. Here is what he shared:
[quote]I believe in live performance. When I put my sculptures in the street, sometimes for a day, sometimes for two or three, the city is buying an experience. Sometimes I sell some of my sculptures, but that’s not my purpose.” [/quote]
“Street art is an artistic movement, a reaction to materialism. Yes, everybody wants to have the latest iphone; but maybe we need also to be together. It’s a basic human desire. To come together as a community to create an artistic experience…It’s like a little miracle: everyone can do something from the heart, from the spirit. …You don’t need to be an official artist to be involved in creating art or be in the artistic spirit.
I like a public place. Is for everybody. There is a kind of egality; or at least that is the potential. But it’s very difficult to live life together. In the Occident, America, France, there is more and more privatization of the space. There is always a temptation to protect yourself. But venturing out on the streets and sidewalks in this city is nice, it’s like a miracle: we can walk with businessmen, with homeless, with young, old…The city can be an ideal of society. To work together to share culture, music, art, cinema, dance…I love flashmobs!
[quote] In the city, often the young people are in harmony with the city; they are not afraid of others. It is only when we get older that it becomes more difficult to be so open. The more we have, the more we are afraid to lose. [/quote]When we have a child, we are afraid to lose him. If you have money, you are afraid to lose your money. Young people don’t have money, don’t have a child; they can enter the life of the city, engage with architecture.
I think my work celebrates this. The city gives me something and so I give it something back in return. Just for celebration. To say, ‘Hey guys, look where we live, what we get. It’s beautiful.’ To live a successful life together is like a miracle.”
“I’m very sensitive to space. In my student days, I traveled a lot in Central Asia, in the desert, and I discovered Islamic architecture in Egypt and Pakistan and India. Arabic architecture is very simple clean lines, like Roman architecture. A lot of strong imagery reaching up towards the sky. It felt more close to my own spirituality.
Before that, I had not studied religion, my parents we don’t have religion. My society is very materialistic. Also in France there is a lot of horizontal architecture. It is beautiful, I love my city, but my travels gave me something else. I discovered something universal. [quote]If you do not travel, it is very difficult to see the universality. You can’t see through others’ eyes.[/quote]
When I discovered art at school, and through my travels, it was the beginning of my spirituality.”
“My first installation was just for one night to shoot pictures. The wire is very reflective so I put a spotlight close to the sculpture–not inside, just behind. So the focused light lit up the sculpture.”
“I am no different from any others, I am often angry inside; but with my art I prefer to encourage people to come together. My sculptures are universal; everybody can project his mind inside them–whether you’re a child, a Chinese woman, an old person–everybody can project his identity into the sculpture.
The mood of the sculptures is very peaceful. It’s an invitation to enjoy a simple experience. [quote]There is no provocation, there is no concept, there is no code to understand. The picture is empty, so the mind can live in the sculpture.”[/quote]
When we see the sculpture in the street, out mind moves into the sculpture. The passerby becomes the sculpture and sees the city through the sculpture’s eyes. When the sculpture sits on the roof, you can be sitting on the roof. So my sculpture is very much a spiritual dream of the city.
If there is a success with this installation, I think it’s because it speaks about us, our dreams, our spirituality. We love our city, but it’s sometimes difficult to speak about the sensation of a place. So maybe sculpture can materialize our spiritual relationship to the spaces around us.”
To view more of Cedric’s Le Borgne’s work, visit: cedricleborgne.com
Festival Arbres en Lumière – Rue de la Fontaine – Geneva – 2012
Cédric Le Borgne constructed a set of wire mesh birds perched on trees and illuminated from below. The Le Désir et la Menace installation was as part of an outdoor tree light festival in Geneva, Switzerland.