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December 24 2008 4 24 /12 /December /2008 14:20

We met the famous sculptor Richard Serra during the re-installation of Slat, one of his masterpieces, in the La Défense business district. Short but warm interview, despite the cold weather.

What can you tell me about Slat, and the vertical towers?
Well, I started the series of « Vertical towers » in 72. The first one was built in the Stedelijck Museum, and it's gonna be reinstalled probably in two years, because they re-did the architecture. Then I built one in Pittsburgh, and I built one in Orange County. I think so far, I built ten or twelve pieces that contain different internal volumes. I built them with height different plates. They're towers that are open to the sky, so it's an ongoing language. Slat is more involved with the circulation of urbanism than the others, and his location.

What piece of iron did you use for this sculpture particularly?
It's corten, corten steel, that's a weathering steel, an oxydable steel, that after about height years  turns in a very very dark amber, almost black, then it holds its color and it doesn't oxydize any longer.

What is your definition of minimalism?
The minimalist deals with the object and the specificity of the object. I don't deal with the objects. What I deal with, is different : I make the content reside in the viewer, the subject is your experience. The minimalist deals with the object in the experience, and he didn't deal with context.
He didn't deal with time, and I deal with time, in relationship to how the body moves through its place. So, as you move through the piece in relationship to your time, your history and you memory, to a large degree, the context resides in you. And the subject matters with your experience.

Do you have projects by now?
I was just in Madrid, where I'm doing a show in Prado in November. Then tomorrow I'm going to the Mid-East, to look into some possibilities, but I really can't talk about it.  

Thanks a lot, Mr Serra!

[Photo: EPAD/Agence Vu - Franck Ferville]

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Published by Mathilde de Beaune - Jean-David Boussemaer - in Art and News
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