The Trésor d’Angoulême, Jean-Michel Othoniel’s integral work of art
Contemporary Art | Jean-Michel Othoniel has occupied a central position in the contemporary art scene since the 2000s, due to his famous installation in the entrance of the Parisian subway station Palais-Royal ; which was built with Murano glass (his preferred material). Nowadays, the artist has multiplied his projects around the world, revealing a plastic language imbued with theatricality, pœtry and oneirism.
Othoniel’s universe, which dœs not belong to any particular current of thought, is the result of a collaboration with highly qualified artisans that work with glass, textiles, embroidery and passementerie. With his œuvre in situ, The Trésor d’Angoulême, he presents an « explosion of materials based on the idea that beauty leads to holiness ».
In the flamboyant décor of the Cathedral, Jean-Michel Othoniel creates an integral work of art conceived as a “dialogue between History and contemporaneity”. His scenography is divided in three thematic spaces : the Lapidary room, the Commitment room and the Marvellous room, exhibiting 147 sacred objects from the second half of the 19th century (statues, gold and silverware, reliquaires, monstrances or lapidaries). The project, which is a public commission spread in eight years, is the first of its kind in France; its main objective is to offer a different perspective on a period of history that is still unappreciated today.
In the early 2000s, Claude Rutault carried out a radical artistic gesture by erasing all the elements belonging to the 19th century from the church he conceived at Saint-Prim. For instance, he covered all of the Saint-Sulpician statues that were set up on a wall, like an altarpiece. Jean-Michel Othoniel adopted an opposite perspective and assumed the 19th century spirit by exposing a group of modest liturgical objects of little value, aspiring to “transmit the particular spiritual fervor and popular emotion” of the century.
Publié le 14/02/2017
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