They are colorful, spew water and engage your curiosity. Street artist, Jeff Aerosol, looks in their direction. Saint-Merri protects them from the wind. What and where are these objects that recycle their own water? The Stravinsky Fountain or Fontaine des Automates between the Pompidou Center and the church Saint-Merri will once again be open to the public on November 7, 2023. The work of Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely has been renovated for the first time in 40 years. The reddish building next to the fountain is home to an acoustic and music institute. Keep reading. The Icram will take you on a journey of stories and sound. On a Sunday a week before the reopening, the protective barrier was pushed down. I had a preview of what was to come with the reopening.
The mechanized sculptures, which are in perpetual movement and animated by jets of recycled water, opened in 1983. The fountain sits on a plaza, once a mansion, which is named for the composer Igor Stravinsky. The plaza is the roof of the acoustics and music institute next door (L’Institut de recherche et coordination acoustique/musique-Icram). The hydraulic system and the power supply are located in the Icram basement. Placing sculptures in the square was the idea of Claude Pompidou, the wife of the President, Georges Pompidou, in the 1980s. The images in the post gallery were taken in October 2023 prior to the official November 7 opening.
Virtual Tour of the Sculptures
Each of the sculptures relates to Igor Stravinsky’s music for the ballet “The Rite of Spring”. Take a tour in two parts with Icram of the renovated fountain. In the first part, Hélène Frappart’s “Seven Tales of the Fountain” is a guided story tour. in English and in French with music by Mikel Urquiza. The tales relate to stories behind the sculptures. The second part of the presentation is a spatial journey with music and sound. It is recommended to wear headphones while listening for the full experience.
The names of the sculptures are: The Mermaid, Ragtime, The Clown Hat, The Fox, The Heart, The Diagonal, The Elephant, Life, The Nightingale, The Snake, Death, The Firebird, The Key of the Sol, Love, The Spiral and The Frog
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