Olympic heroines – Le Quotidien de l’Art

Olympic heroines – Le Quotidien de l’Art
Olympic heroines – Le Quotidien de l’Art

Sitting on a large volcanic rock, a bronze woman invites us to take a seat on one of the six seats which form a circle around her. In his left hand, the Olympic flame shines gold, and on his knees rests an olive branch, symbol of a peace that is very fragile today. At its feet, the Olympic rings have been carved into the ground. 33 days before the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Living room (2024), a lasting work by Alison Saar (born in 1956), took place on Sunday June 23 in the Charles-Aznavour garden, a stone’s throw from the Champs-Élysées. In competition with 19 other candidates, it was chosen unanimously by an advisory committee bringing together representatives of the International Olympic Committee, the City of Paris (to whom the IOC gifted the work), and the organizing committee of the Paris 2024 Games and members of the international artistic community. If theCalifornian artist has been famous in the United States for around forty years for her work on African-American female identity; she exhibited in France for the first time only two years ago, at the Lelong gallery. ​​​​​​Born in Los Angeles – where the 2028 Olympics will take place – she shares with her parents, the artists Betye and Richard Saar, the need to express her experience of racism and discrimination, but also to celebrate the mixed race from which she comes. Installed a stone’s throw from the statues of Winston Churchill, General de Gaulle, Marshal Foch and Clemenceau, Alison Saar’s black heroine sits enthroned, head held high, symbol of a multicultural Paris. VSdesigned in the Fusions art foundry in Puy-de-Dôme, near the village of Charbonnières-les-Vieilles, the work responds to the IOC’s wish to promote French craftsmanship. It is now up to the visitor to take in this modern agora, where a Chinese drum stool, a European Thonet chair, an antique curule armchair, a West African palaver seat, and a carved child’s chair coexist. handmade from Central America, and a rustic French stool.

Wednesday June 26 at 7 p.m., Alison Saar will discuss with Xavier Veilhan, author of The Audience, the Olympic sculpture from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in the amphitheater of honor at the Beaux-Arts de Paris. beauxartsparis.fr

© Fred Mauviel / City of Paris.
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