18 Feb 2012

The Blobtree

So, you’re a contemporary artist. And you have a chance to make an installation at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. What an opportunity! It’s right above the main entrance, too. And its for children. So thousands, probably millions will experience it. What, then would you do?

What you probably won’t dream of coming up with is the Blobterre, an extraordinary work (which runs to March 5) by someone called Magali Crassat. With a very long list of assistants, Mme Crassat has created a plastic and neon…world…of green dangling things, flashing lights, plastic flowers, smells and sounds, in which you are meant to ‘eat, wash, tell stories’ as well as ‘massage…and experience the influence you have on the world around you’. Explain that!

The French are quite brilliant. They don’t bother with weary old single images, easily explicable and which need no translation – such as a rising sun, or a spider, or a big crack in the ground, all of which have appeared at Tate Modern, the British counterpart for the Centre Pompidou.

A sign in the Blobtree
 No, they commission something such as the Blobterre, a wholly inexplicable, hilariously pompous and formal event around which children are meant to have philosophical notions, but in which most children I observed just wanted to run about in. Here is an example of Blobterre literature.

Parental warning
And here is an image of Phoebe and Lucien getting into the Blobterre Zone. But the funniest thing of all, when you have gone through all the liberal loveliness of the Blobterre, is to read the Parental Warning of the Blobterre!! Hee hee!! Amazingly enough, children in the ‘new world devoted to the spirit of exploring, creating and imagining also misbehave!!! The Blobterre! Catch it if you can.

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