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ART SEEN - Sculpture Garden in Geneva's Parc des Eaux Vives

Mid Morning Mix// ART SEEN // Gardening & Green Spaces// Events// Art & Culture // July 2, 2018

Sculpture Garden in Geneva's Parc des Eaux Vives: UFOs have landed. Uli Van Neyghem takes a look...


An invasion of strange objects has occurred in one of Geneva's most beautiful parks. If you venture for a stroll in Parc des Eaux Vives these days, you encounter a shiny metal column pointing into the sky, a white barren tree (that looks it has been hit by some alien weapon), a watchtower, a giant strange mushroom and a sparkling pink flying saucer, that has made an apparent emergency landing. The 'aliens' have come in peace though, to spend the summer in the park, enjoying the magnificent views on the lake and the Jura mountains.   


Parc des Eaux Vives hosts the Sculpture Garden Biennale, proudly presenting 14 works by renowned Swiss and International artists. Some of the pieces have been designed especially for the occasion, others come from public or private collections. Curated by Lionel Bovier, the director or MAMCO, at the initiative of artgenève, this open-air exhibition allows visitors to discover art outside dedicated sites like museums. On display in the beautifully landscaped park, the pieces are in harmony with their environment, or contrast with it. 

Organs, an installation consisting of a bronze human heart, liver and uterus, by Franco Vietnamese artist Mai-Thu Perret, for example, has found a perfect setting suspended among the giant redwoods in the park. The piece invites visitors to reflect on the relationship between the body and nature.


'The sun over the mountains' by one of the most important American sculptors of the 20th century, Alexander Calder, who got known for his colourful, whimsical abstract pieces and innovative mobiles, also settles naturally into the landscape.



Other pieces, like 'Telephone Cabins' (housing molten plastic garbage cans), by French artist Anita Molinero are at odds with their environment. Here the unlikely encounter is voluntary and the paradox meant to invite dialogue and discussion.

Indian artist Subodh Gupta used shiny anodised metal buckets (up to you to see them either as champagne coolers or cleaning buckets) to construct a column.  The work contains a reference and homage to Constantin Brancusi, a sculptor who was considered a pioneer of modernism and his iconic 'Endless Column'.


Visitors can explore and discover this out of the ordinary encounter with contemporary art all through the summer until the 8th September 2018. Pick up a copy of the accompanying brochure and map helping you to find the art works in the park at the reception of the Hotel des Eaux Vives. 

Bring a picnic, indulge in a meal on the terrace of the hotel restaurant or combine the visit with one of the open-air concerts on the Ella Fitzgerald Stage in the neighbouring Parc de la Grange. (Warning: it is easy to mix up the two adjacent parks when arriving from Geneva and the Sculpture Garden exclusively takes place in Parc des Eaux Vives.) 



The Practical Details:

What:                            Open Air Sculpture Garden Biennale
Where:                          Parc des Eaux Vives, Geneva
When:                           Now - Until September 8, 2018
Entry Fee:                     Free






Art Seen is sponsored by Africa - the Ecstatic Religions exhibition at MEG - Musée d'ethnographie de Genève. 


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