The Contemporary Art Biennale in Lyon, France, includes all kinds of things. Argentinian artist Ernesto Ballesteros put on an indoor model aeroplane display. He constructs model planes from balsa wood, and the public are encouraged to join in. He’s been running a series of workshops, teaching people how to make paper airoplanes. It’s fun but it’s also artistic.
The workshops are for both adults and children, and they have even been running a tournament, four teams competing against each other.
Ernesto Ballesteros said: “The main aim wasn’t to make a model to a specific plan with two wings and all that. Some people followed the instructions that I gave at the beginning, but others wanted to make experimental models – and even if they don’t really fly, it doesn’t matter. What I really like to see is a touch of madness, of love, a reflection of this relationship with beauty which is so personal for each of us.”
It’s a project which falls fair and square into the centre of the Biennale’s ambition to close the gap between contemporary art and the public.
Abdelkader Damani, Veduta Project Director, said: “A work of art is an experience. Coming to a gym to fly model arioplanes on a Saturday afternoon could be seen as simultaneously nuts, just fun and nothing to do with art; but just look around and see that the whole thing was about works of art.”
Another exhibition at the Lyon Biennale was held in a space called the White Cube. Local artist Christian Lhopital showed a series of drawings in graphic powder and installations chosen by a group of art-lovers amateurs.
Louisa Metri, the curator, said: “I have absolutely no notion of contemporary art but that doesn’t stop me thinking certain things and perhaps having interesting things to say. And in fact I think that contemporary art belongs to everyone and according to temperament, everyone has something to say, or a viewpoint or a thought.”
Art for everyone – that’s the guiding principle of the Contemporary Art Biennale in Lyon.
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