One Degree Higher : a homage to nature and architecture

Lat night was the Nuit Blanche in Paris and I was so lucky to catch Dominique Lacloche’s ethereal multi media installation One Degree Higher at the Eglise Saint Paul Saint Louis.

Fragile , poetic , dreamlike, monumental and ephemeral , I was moved , speechless.

The 42 gunnera leaves float above your head in the hushed church and because we were at the private viewing the night before we were able to lie down on the floor and peer up at the spiraling  sculptures in the chiaroscuro of the barely lit church. To add to the sensorial experience there was also a haunting soundtrack of vegetal and mineral sounds that changed as the projection of  a mapping of the universe looking like lava and fire bubbled and boiled at the very heart of the dome 55 meters high.

Built in 1721 , this church with its high dome was the first of its kind , so much so that the dome of Les Invalides was inspired  by and designed like it . Saint Paul is considered one of the richest churches in Paris architecture-wise.

The Loo & Lou Foundation  made this installation possible and I just have to take off my hat to Dominique and her team , lead by Bruno Blosse, for the superhero Batman work. Hoisting up and hanging the huge Gunnera leaves from  the dome 10 floors up took 6 all nighters since they could only work after 10 pm when the church closed to the public.

Plastic artist and photographer Dominique Lacloche explores and experiments with form, matter, image and media. Her discovery of Gunnera Manicata leaves thirteen years ago marked a turning point in her career. Reworked, estheticized, placed in a new context by the artist, these magnificent leaves are given a fresh lease on life. They are alternately subject, object, support, sculpture and suspension.

With this remarkably “vegetal” installation, growing within the majestic architecture of the Eglise Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, the artist creates a space for quiet reflection and meditation. Dominique Lacloche invites us, as we amble through the church’s nave, to participate in a surprising experience: a permeating feeling of elevation, inspired by the flight of this organic spiral to the top of the building’s dome.

Nuit Blanche 2013 . History of the event

 The Nuit Blanche is a nocturnal event, organized annually, free to the public. It takes place during the first weekend of October, from 7 pm to 7 am.

This event allows the public to discover contemporary art, privileging the discovery of unusual, remarkable locations in Paris and its inner suburbs. The proposed projects appeal to all publics, from novices to those most familiar with contemporary art.

The Department of Cultural Affairs, organizer of this event for the city of Paris, is committed to respecting this charter from year to year.

 Each edition is nonetheless highly original, as the organizers of the Nuit Blanche change annually. The audacious and creative 2013 edition will be curated by a team of women, Chiara Parisi and Julie Pellegrin.




This is the view from the top of the dome and the metal wire that supported the 42 spiraling sculptured leaves



Below Dominique Lacloche in front of a Gunnera Manicata bush.


And this is from a different installation at the Chapelle Saint Sauveur , 2010.

and this is from a 2010 exhibition at the Chapelle Saint Sauveur


UPDATE : I just spoke to Dominique Lacloche and they had over 10.000 visitors on Saturday nigh , so due how popular and visited this installation is , the church has allowed to leave it up until thursday , without the blue lights and soundtrack , but nevertheless , you can still see it up for a few more days.

Eglise Saint Paul. 99 Rue Saint Antoine.



5 responses to “One Degree Higher : a homage to nature and architecture”

  1. hi! very nice post,love your style

  2. Jesus says:

    bello…….y mas en esta epoca en la que las hojas caen……estas caen del cielo cargadas de azul

  3. Moraime says:

    Looks wonderfull !
    Such and experience to be under the spiral of gunneras…

  4. Victoria says:

    How beautiful