Sometimes classified as an abstract minimalist, French artist Daniel Buren is known best for using regular, contrasting colored stripes in an effort to integrate visual surface and architectural space, notably on historical, landmark architecture. For MADRE Museum’s first installation of 2015, Buren transformed a large room on the ground floor of the museum into a real game of life-size buildings, or a "kindergarten" in the environmental dimension.
Aptly titled, Child’s Play, the installation aims to celebrate the relationship between the museum and its public, between institution and community. A space transformed into a play area, a real game of life-size buildings, or a "kindergarten" to the environmental dimension has been achieved, thanks to 'assembling a hundred modules of geometrical shapes and colors inspired by solid German pedagogue Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel. Spheres, cubes, cylinders in wood blocks evoke the cognitive potential of game and language, causing children to interact with the artistic installation as if they were interacting with their own community.
The work - a result of the collaboration between the artist and architect Patrick Bouchain - aims to be a inner dialogue with the architecture. Visitors are able to walk within a city made of circles hypnotic (on which appear the stripes that are recurring and distinctive sign of the works of Buren), colored bows, round towers, stands square, triangular pediments, placed symmetrically to each other, as if they were part of the architecture of the museum , finally giving it to its hypothetical and potential alternative fantastic and reconstructive.
The result is a true miniature city that relates to the actual city (that is as embedded in its archetypal forms, inside the museum). As this imaginative city rises before our eyes: a city metaphysics is divided gradually like a strange walk that begins in color and ends in pure white.
Photography courtesy of Daniel Buren and DB-ADAGP Paris