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The first permanent public art sculpture by Arne Quinze in France

The Beautiful Dreamer — Paris

Arne Quinze continues his journey to reshape our cities into more human environments with this public sculpture in Paris ‘The Beautiful Dreamer’. Curated by Artbliss Paris, Viparis commissioned Arne Quinze to intervene in their Porte De Versailles project. Paris — Porte De Versailles is a sustainable (re)development project of Expo Paris, a new exposition area in the city, including:

  • A pavilion with on its rooftop the world's largest urban farm by Valode & Pistre Architects.
  • A 440-room hotel complex by Wilmotte Architects.
  • A spectacular pavilion facade by Pritzker awarded Jean Nouvel.

‘The Beautiful Dreamer’ is a 12m tall landmark overlooking the entrance of Paris Expo. It is Quinze’s ode to the beauty of nature and was developed to inspire visitors while triggering automatic spontaneity. “Having lost our dialogue with nature, we are now stuck with grey & uninspiring public spaces. “Le Beau Rêveur” sets out to counteract that.” The raw power of nature is distilled in his sculpture, by repeatedly deforming sheet metal by means of a demolition crane, but the result shows a rather vulnerable elegance. Quinze tries to convey absolute beauty and sculpts his pieces in a surrealistic, abstract manner to initiate a dialogue with its visitors, forcing them to fill-in the image with their own imagination. With ‘The Beautiful Dreamer’, Arne Quinze has captured the beauty of nature and brings it back to the city to remind us of its inspiring diversity.

“In my work, I have always been attracted to the way we live, our dwellings, how cities grow and evolve. Where does individualism end and where does society begin? In my earlier work, I made series like Bidonvillesand Cityviewas a criticism on the repetitiveness and the lack of distinctiveness we see in cities all over the world. There must be something in human nature that makes us build the exact same urban environments every time. Kids nowadays, growing up in the city, have no clue of the beauty that is out there.

After studying nature for many years – not only in exotic locations, but also in my own garden – I started thinking that there are countless advantages to being surrounded by nature and by being closer to it. We should integrate natural processes in every aspect of our urban architecture. It’s utopian, but by introducing this message in the cityscape, by breaking through greyness and monotony, we can provoke a conversation, a debate.”

Arne Quinze feels that it is crucial to expand and develop our cities in a closer dialogue with nature, and this project perfectly encompasses his theory. It’s about creating an ecosystem for a wide diversity of visitors, aiming for a balanced society. The areas around the city gates – the main entrance roads to city centres nowadays – have a hugely important role in urban planning. Historically, they were always very busy and peopled with an interesting mix of individuals with different economic interests or intentions. These areas have become the engines of our cities.

“In a metropolis like Paris, it is very easy to avoid one another, to forget the concept of ‘co-habitation’. So many different people and cultures. That is why I wanted to install this dreamer here, a work that refers to the diversity and perfection of nature, that imagines an ecosystem full of colour and movement.”

Arne Quinze wants his work to echo the beauty of nature in an urban context. His pieces should invite people to communicate more and better for a more human environment.

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