Monumenta is a vast space at the Grand Palais in Paris where, every year, the French ministry of culture and communication invites a leading artist to create a work specifically for this space.
The idea is that the work responds to the exceptional architectural space, measuring in at some 13 500 square metres. The monumental scale of the building is itself the inspiration behind the big idea, or the “Monumenta”.
For the 2011 edition of Monumenta the UK-based artist Anish Kapoor created a temporary, site-specific installation inside the nave of the glass-domed hall. The Leviathan installation, which can be viewed until 23 June 2011, sees visitors entering through a door which takes them into "the belly of the beast”. This is, in fact, a four-chamber balloon, covered in red light, which aims to evoke cathedral-like qualities.
Upon entering the second part of the exhibition, the visitor is confronted with the idea that the exterior of the sculpture is unrelated to the interior, yet they are able to simultaneously co-exist.
Kapoor’s creation celebrates neither permanence, nor eternity. Instead the Leviathan looks to the transitive, fugitive nature of instants.
All images via designboom.