In his long career as an artist of international renown, Daniel Buren (1938) received many acknowledgements and prizes among which the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1986 and the Praemium Imperiale for painting by the Japan Art Foundation in 2007.
After his studies at the Ecole des Meteris d’Art and at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, in the middle Sixties he started to perform public works, installations and exhibitions all over the world. At the beginning of his artistic career, Buren carried out a series of experimentations on the boundary of painting, sculpture and cinema. His first solo exhibition at the Galleria Apollinaire in Milan (1968) was followed by his participation in the 5th International Exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York (1971) and in Documenta V curated by Harald Szeemann in 1972, where his prestige in conceptual art was acknowledged. The permanent works that attest to his research are countless. Among these, the spectacular Les Deaux Plateaux (1985-86) in the forecourt of the Palais-Royal in Paris; Sens dessus Dessous (1994) at the Parc des Célestins in Lyon; 25 Porticos: The Color and its Reflections in Tokyo (1996); Puente de la Saliva on the homonymous bridge next to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (2007) and Excentrique(s) at the Grand Palais in Paris (2012).
Daniel Buren works in situ, that is he designs and creates works customized for a specific place and public and this makes them unique and one-off. He operates by starting a dialogue with the architecture of museums and galleries, but also by acting directly on city elements like squares, gardens and bridges. Employing an unspoiled "visual tool" — the alternation of white and coloured vertical stripes of 8.7 centimetres — Buren has been investigating for more than 35 years on the relation between the work of art, the place where it takes shape and the viewer. Therefore, in the centre of his reasoning stand the visibility of his work and the definition of its status, the willingness to reverse the existing models by multiplying the viewpoints, the overturning of perspectives through visual interferences, as well as the attempt he every time readjusts and updates to interact (by osmosis or in a conflicting way) with the space where he is working. In his works carried out in situ, painting, fabric, wood, metal, mirror, glass and paper are combined to form wall works or complex environment structures which aim at suggesting a critical interpretation of the art object with reference to discipline and culture (sculpture, painting, monochromy, work of art,...), to the codification of the context (museum, public area,...) and to the relation with the user.
In 1975 he carried out his first Cabane Eclatée which represented a turning point and stressed the interdependence between the work and the place where it is positioned through a subtle game of construction and de-construction.
||After the success at the Grand Palais in Paris on the occasion of Monumenta 2012 (more than 300 thousand viewers), Daniel Buren comes to the Scolacium Archaeological Site being the protagonist of Intersezioni 2012.
This long-awaited exhibition is now at its seventh edition and is one of the most significant cultural events of the Summer. This year, it hosts the unprecedented project by the French master who decided to place in the Scolacium Park five grand installations especially designed for this site, which benefits from a new interpretation. Just like in the previous editions, the project also involves the MARCA Museum in Catanzaro. Both events are curated by Alberto Fiz, the Artistic Director of the MARCA Museum.
Building on vestige: Inpermanence. Works in situ (Construire sur des vestiges, d'un éphémère à l'autre. Travaux in situ) is the title of the exhibition event which opens on Friday 27th July at 7:30 pm. and will remain open until October 7th, 2012.
Intersezioni 2012 is organized by the Catanzaro Province in co-operation with the Calabria regional directorate for culture and landscape assets (Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Calabria) and is under the patronage of the cultural department of the Calabria Region and Sensi Contemporanei, a program by the Ministry for Economic Development (Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico).
Wanda Ferro, the President of the Catanzaro Province with culture portfolio says: “ Intersezioni, together with the MARCA Museum, is an essential reference point of our cultural programme and, despite the general difficult situation, our administration committed itself with determination to give life to an event which has gained a special significance in the cultural and artistic context of this territory. The best proof of our success is the involvement of Daniel Buren, one of the greatest protagonists on the international scene who turned the Park into the stage of a unique and one-off project that can be admired only in this site."
As Alberto Fiz explains: “Intersezioni new edition is an accomplishment for an event which is every year more and more ambitious. On this occasion, Buren achieved a syncretism with the vestige which cancels time-space between the ancient world and the contemporary one. His intervention, so radical and brave, clearly shows that the creation of the work of art is provoked by the Scolacium Park itself and therefore exists only when strictly related to the environmental context. Actually, it represents a turning point also compared to the other remarkable projects carried out in this place."
The exhibition includes the Park nerve centres with a series of performances especially designed for the Basilica, the Forum, the Roman Theatre and the olive grove.
The Basilica is lightened up by red and blue windows in plexiglass which recall an utopian imaginative world through the magical and unexpected alternation of light and shadow. Buren wrote: "I believe colour is pure thinking, therefore it is totally inexpressible. It is as abstract as a mathematical formula or a philosophic concept."
In the Forum takes place a fantastic reconstruction in which Buren creates a colonnade with 53 wooden elements starting from existing fragments. In this case, the archaeological site is the inspirational factor for an architectural project which challenges time and space.
The spectacular work designed for the Theatre is altogether exceptional. In the centre of the Theatre, Buren positioned a structure of more than 30 metres in length and more than three metres in height which mirrors the building and doubles the image of the ancient theatre. The result is a visual context absolutely alienating where the perception of the place is gradually transformed by the reflection and at the same time concealment of space. The viewer is confronted with the inpermanence of the look, which takes in the elements of a virtual reality.
Finally, Buren was especially fascinated by the olive grove that surrounds the Park and perfectly integrates the different history sites. For this part, he designed an installation made up of more than 20 components which embraces the olive trees and emphasizes their features and peculiarities in the evocative site of the Scolacium Park.
Buren affirms: "My installations stress the existing strengths in the Park, fill empty space like in the Basilica, replicate simple geometrical forms, draw lines in the space, accentuate the height of the Theatre and traces columns that never existed like in the Forum."
Such dialogue with the past finds in Buren's work a new and unpredictable visual space.
In addition to all this, the visitor can admire another installation designed especially for the Park: Cabane éclatée aux 4 couleurs: travail in situ (4x4x4 meters). This new work, based on the relation between space ad colour, is part of the series Cabane éclatée started in 1975. His structures explode from the inside out and open into the distance. By doing so, they absorb the place surrounding them and share the existence with it. Cabane is no object or decoration, but rather a place to use and live in that changes every time. The very concept of connected place is the reference point of the exhibition at the MARCA Museum, where is displayed La cabane éclatée aux plexiglas colorés et transparents: travail situé, which in this case comes into contact with a closed space and develops a new visual result in which the museum is part of the work.
The exposition is completed by a catalogue in Italian and English published by Silvana Editoriale with writings by Maria Grazia Aisa, Daniel Buren, Bruno Corà, Alberto Fiz and Hans-Ulrich Obrist.
Since 2005, Intersezioni hosted some of the most eminent protagonists of Italian and international sculpture like Stephan Balkenhol, Tony Cragg, Wim Delvoye, Jan Fabre, Antony Gormley, Dennis Oppenheim, Mimmo Paladino, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Marc Quinn and Mauro Staccioli.