ACG COLLECTION ACG EXHIBITS ART SITES ART EVENTS ART PRESS INFORMATION
PB: Wednesday, 2 February 2011 NEWSLETTER

DEFENSE-1 1. DEFENSE-2 2. DEFENSE-3 3. DEFENSE-4 4.

1. Takis greets Chancellor John S. Bailey at KETE, Athens.
2. Takis and Dr. Bailey watch La Défense Project presentation at KETE, Athens.
3. Le Bassin de Takis of 1987 at La Défense, Paris.
4. Mother breastfeeding her baby at the foot of Le Bassin de Takis at La Défense, Paris.

LA DÉFENSE PROJECT: LE BASSIN DE TAKIS

Takis is arguably one of the greatest contemporary artists. He has experimented with non-conventional materials and technologies to create art, and is particularly known for his use, since 1958, of magnetism as an invisible natural power. He is also known for inventing 'Sculpture Hydromagnétique', which was the result of his research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT, between 1968-1969.

ACG Art holds a great variety of works by Takis, and is especially proud to include two seminal works, secured for the collection by Dr. John S. Bailey in the 1970s, ACG President at the time. The most important work is the Signal of 1974-1979 [Taki1974sign], placed at the entrance of the John S. Bailey Library, which is a fine example of the 'Signaux' series, his most renowned trademark. The other is Mur Magnétique (Magnetic Wall) of 1976 [Taki1976wall], installed on the library's groundfloor across the entrance, which is the largest of the 'Télésculptures' series in Greece.

Chancellor John S. Bailey and myself visited the studio of Takis at the Research Center for Art and the Sciences - KETE in Gerovouno, Athens, on 2 February 2011. After a homely chat, Takis treated us with a presentation comprising 66 pictures found online from his landmark work - Le Bassin de Takis (The Basin of Takis), installed at La Défense esplanade on the Champs Elysees axis, leading to the Arc de Triomphe, in the heart of Paris. In 1987 the Défense public authority granted Takis the use of the largest space that has ever been given to any artist in the history of Paris - 3,500 m² for a group of 76 Signaux (Signals) 3.50 to 9.50 meters high.

Le Bassin de Takis is an entire forest of Signaux, differing from one another in terms of height and form, all varying on the theme of energy emission and code transmission. The unique character of each Signal is fundamentally due to the randomness in timing and/or orientation. This feature makes every Signal stand on its own. It is worth noting that these Signaux are meant to transmit messages of an existential value, at a peculiar frequency, and of cosmological significance. Such Signaux function on an emotive plane than on an instrumental level, and are there as much to stand on their own, independently of humanity, as to salvage the cosmos. The fact of the matter is that the public - locals or visitors - love to hang around in this artwork's significant presence. One photograph in particular, reproduced here, captures a mother breastfeeding her baby, thus cosmologically linking humanity with the towering art.

Takis informed us that his Défense project materialized through the mediation of President of France François Mitterrand, and that this installation is protected by contract for a period of 99 years, that is till 2086. He said that such an honor would only come from France, a country that has proven to hold great respect for contemporary art. He also told us that he does not consider himself to be Greek, but feels to be a 'citizen of the world'. He claims to be glad to be alive at 86, because he has more to offer to people.

We wish Takis well, and look forward to his future art offerings.

Megakles Rogakos

INFORMATION: Megakles Rogakos, The American College of Greece - ACG Art
6 Gravias Street, Agia Paraskevi, Athens, GR 15342, Greece, T: +30-210-6009800/1456, E: info@ACGart.gr

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