Never seen before, a dance unfolds in front of our eyes as a ballerina moves gracefully under the spell of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella. On the wall to her left, the crude silhouettes of woolen coats adorn five massive iron plaques. This unique dialogue of the uncouth and the delicate, the meeting of Jannis Kounellis‘ Da Inventare sul posto and one of his untitled works, is undoubtedly the centerpiece of his second solo exhibition in Paris.
Keeping the Paris Mint at the heart of his exhibition, Kounellis’ work greets the visitor boldly, immersing them in a world both linked to the historical context which birthed arte povera and void of context, timeless. Six iron constructions reminiscent of disproportionately large easels guard the entrance, dwarfing everyone who stands before them. Taking the dimensions of the human as a basis, his work evokes greatness and insignificance, the modern and the primeval, the weightless and the heavy. Throughout the exhibition his vision takes on many forms and floats through a myriad of mediums and key elements – iron, coal and fire, all serving their assigned purposes in creating a link between the present and the historic, the current state of mind and the collective unconscious in which they all lurk. Not completely conscious and not fully visual, the works of Kounellis are revealed to the viewer little by little, through glances and glimpses, through windows and mirrors, by virtue of the Paris Mint‘s regal white halls.