La rivière souterraine (Underground River)
Intersection of Boulevard de la Marne and Boulevard d’Anvers
The installation by Alsatian sculptor and photographer Jean-Luc Moulène is located at a crossroads much frequented by Strasbourg car drivers and pedestrians, at the intersection of Boulevard de la Marne and Boulevard d’Anvers. It has the distinction, in relation to other art installations on the Contemporary Art Route, of also being an element of urban street furniture : a safety barrier.
Jean-Luc Moulène therefore developed his artistic project with the constraint of creating an object of protection pertaining to the road. The artist analysed the positive and negative connotations of the barrier (prohibition but also protection, etc.) :
”I remembered a Japanese liana, the natural development of which produces a fragile and delicate barrier that can be pushed back but which will guide the steps of the walker in the forest where it grows.”
Paul Guérin, extract from the publication La Rivière Souterraine published by CEAAC
The general aspect of La Rivière souterraine (Underground River) makes one unmistakably think of 19th and early 20th century decors that link modern materials (in this case, cast aluminium) to plant structures : in Strasbourg there is the example of a concrete handrail representing gnarled branches installed on the bridge over the pond in the Orangerie Park.
The dynamic and twisted aspect of these artistic barriers was obtained by starting with three thick ropes arranged in the form of a barrier and molded in clay : to remove the ropes, a strong traction was exerted which left its imprint in the clay. The clay then served as a mold for the ten barrierss installed.
This art installation in public space is the result of a request by the council to CEAAC through the local town hall which retained Jean-Luc Moulène’s project. It was put into effect by CEAAC and the City of Strasbourg with the participation of Caisse d’Epargne d’Alsace.
2008 Fonte d’aluminium 120 cm x 140 cm x 7 cm – poids unitaire : 30 kg